Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, speaking on Press TV World News about the visit of Hillary Clinton to Egypt for meetings with the new President Mohamed Morsi and the SCAF. The program aired live on July 14, 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Egypt military in league with US: Analyst
Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:58AM GMT
To watch the interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor, Pan-African News Wire on Press TV World News just click on the URL below:
It’s not surprising on the one hand that Secretary of State Clinton would praise the military forces but at the same time, it’s going to draw a lot of apprehension on the part of the majority of the people inside of Egypt itself.”
Hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators have held a demonstration in Cairo to protest against the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Egyptian capital.
The protesters gathered outside the presidential palace on Saturday as Clinton sat down with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to discuss Egypt's transition to democracy and plans to provide economic assistance to the country.
The demonstrators said that they were opposed to the US efforts to control and potentially divide Egypt, voicing their opposition to a US attempt to force Egypt to appease Israel.
Egyptian soldiers and tanks were positioned outside the US embassy, which has been the scene of anti-US protests since the popular uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: It's no secret that the US and the Egyptian military are pretty close, but still does Secretary Clinton's comments of praise for the SCAF tend to raise some eyebrows about how the military handled the past year or so since Mubarak's fall?
Azikiwe: It’s really not surprising that Secretary of State Clinton would make such complimentary statements in regard to the Egyptian military. The fact of the matter is that over 800 people died last year leading up to the period of the resignation of the former President Hosni Mubarak.
I think, among the Egyptian people
themselves, there’s going to be a lot of consternation and bewilderment in regard to this statement.
Also we have to understand the fact that the US government has, for over the last 30-plus years, been very supportive of the Egyptian military. They have subsidized the Egyptian armed forces to the tune of over 1 billion dollars per year.
In fact, the nation of Egypt is the second largest recipient of United States’ assistance, foreign assistance, only second to the state of Israel.
It’s not surprising on the one hand that Secretary of State Clinton would praise the military forces but at the same time, it’s going to draw a lot of apprehension on the part of the majority of the people inside of Egypt itself.
Press TV: The visit was also met by some protests, the protesters were saying they don't want any interference in their country's affairs, that’s pretty much in unison and in continuation of what Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi said ahead of being sworn in as the new president. Do you think that certain countries such as the United States, as an example, will be listening much to these aspirations of the Egyptians? How do you perceive it?
Azikiwe: I’m sure they’ll be listening but whether or not they’ll adhere to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people remains to be seen. They want assurances on the part of the United States government that there will not be any major interference with the role and the status of the Egyptian armed forces within the overall society.
Two major issues I think they’re going to be very concerned about. One, of course, is the overall relationship between the Egyptian government and the United States government. They want to maintain that close linkage particularly among the armed forces and armed forces of the United States government.
Secondly, of course, they’re very concerned about the status of the 1979 Camp David Accords or the separate peace treaty between the state of Israel and the Egyptian government. They do not want any interference with the ongoing implementation of that peace agreement which has been in force now for some 33 years.
Also I’m sure they’re very concerned about the status of the Palestinians in Gaza. There is a blockade which has been maintained for many years now on the region of Gaza - Gaza being the largest open air prison anywhere in the world.
They want to maintain that grip on the Palestinians in Gaza. That’s going to be a major issue of concern for the Egyptian government itself because the expectations are very high among the people, particularly the leadership of Hamas and others inside of Gaza, in regard to what the political significance of this new government is in Egypt under Dr. Mohammad Morsi.