Hillary Clinton has been welcomed in Egypt by locals greeting her motorcade with tomatoes, shoes and water bottles. Rallying protesters showed awareness with US domestic policy history, chanting “Monica, Monica”.
The two-day visit by the US secretary of state to Egypt ended in scandal when the convoy she was driving in from the newly-opened American consulate in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria was attacked by local citizens chanting anti-American slogans.
The protesting crowds hailed the motorcade with vegetables and other objects, reportedly hitting one of the Egyptian officials in the convoy in the face. The American armored motorcade suffered only superficial damage while Hillary Clinton’s car remained intact.
There have been reports of the protesters chanting “Leave, Clinton” and “Monica, Monica,” presumably referring to the scandal with the secretary’s husband, former US President Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The protesters were holding banners in Arabic and English, accusing the US of interfering into Egypt’s internal affairs.
The protests against Clinton’s visit to Egypt started on Saturday when the US secretary of state met with Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist protégée of the Muslim Brotherhood. Demonstrators surrounded Clinton’s hotel later on Saturday, chanting anti-Islamist slogans and putting the blame on Washington for the Islamists’ rise to power and victory in the country’s presidential elections.
Many of the protesters accused Mohammed Morsi of “selling out” to Washington.
“I want to tell the Americans who are supporting democracy that we don’t have any democracy in Egypt,” one demonstrator, Ahmed Abdel Alim, told AP. “Egyptians of all sects – Muslims, Christians and minorities – do not have any rights in this country.”
During her visit to Egypt, the US Secretary of State also met with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council of Egypt that currently holds power in the country.
Clinton urged the Egyptian military to transfer power in full to the newly-elected president, who was sworn in two weeks ago.
Still, just hours after the meeting with Clinton, the head of the Egyptian military took a hard line on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday, stating he is against Islamist fundamentalists dominating the country’s political landscape.