No, you suspected those radical Islamists leading the protests! Not true, the opposition movement to the Morsi and the Islam Brotherhood is leading the protests in recent weeks on Tahrir Sqaure in Cairo and in the Suez canal cities. The secular movements protest police brutality, that’s why a delivery of $2.4 million teargas canisters from the US to suppress crowds in Cairo does not sit well with the Egyptian people. The Obama administration is accused of giving their support to President Morsi for a single reason: stability and security for Israel. The delivery of 20 US build F-16 fighters just adds to the frustration of the people suffering due to years of a stagnating economy. The US military support is to bribe the Egyptian military brass to stay supportive of their independent role and to keep the peace accords with Israel intact. The Arab peoplesee and know the US hypocrisy in the region … killing Salafists in the Maghreb and letting them do your bidding in Syria to overthrow a regime western powers don’t like. Very likely in agreement with a plan to target Iran through regime change in Syria, a long held dream of Israel and the neocons.
(Al Jazeera) – US secretary of state John Kerry urged the Egyptian government to finalise a long-stalled loan agreement with the IMF, on a visit to Cairo that was partly overshadowed by criticism from opposition leaders and violent protests outside the capital.
Many of his public statements focused on the dire condition of Egypt’s economy. The country’s foreign reserves have plummeted in the two years since the revolution that overthrew longtime president Hosni Mubarak: Egypt’s central bank now has less than $13.6bn in its coffers, down from $36bn in January 2011.
Kerry urged Egypt to conclude months of talks with the IMF for a $4.8bn loan, which would provide a needed boost for Egypt’s reserves and help to restore international confidence in the economy. Senior officials said that they will soon invite an IMF team to reopen talks on the loan, which was agreed in November but suspended following weeks of violent protests.
Below the fold video of protest and anger at Kerry visit …
But the deal has been controversial in Egypt, because the IMF wants the government to implement economic reforms as a prerequisite for the loan. Those reforms could include reductions to subsidies on food, fuel and other essentials, which would hurt millions of Egyptians living below the poverty line.
Kerry urged Egypt’s political leaders to reach “consensus” on the reforms. But while president Mohammed Morsi and his cabinet say they have drafted a plan, they have so far disclosed few details to the public.
Violent protests broke out for the second day in a row in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura. One person was killed there on Saturday, crushed to death by a police vehicle, acccording to activists, and dozens more were wounded. Dozens of police officers were also hurt. In the Suez Canal city of Port Said, meanwhile, protesters set fire to a police station.
The protests were not related to Kerry’s visit, but they highlighted the deep political turmoil in Egypt just weeks ahead of a parliamentary election scheduled for April 22.
The National Salvation Front (NSF), the main opposition bloc, announced last week that it would boycott the election, a decision the US has urged them to reconsider. That angered many members of the opposition, who see the US stance as legitimising what they call an unfair election.
Several leading political figures – including Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN’s nuclear agency, and Hamdeen Sabbahi, the leftist who placed third in last year’s presidential election – refused an invitation to meet with Kerry on Saturday. The US State Department said Kerry did speak by telephone with ElBaradei, who heads the NSF. Kerry also met with Amr Moussa, a longtime diplomat and prominent member of the group.