Egyptian celebrate the anniversary of their revolt

US to speed up aid to Cairo

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Posted on: 
26 Jan 2012
Egyptian celebrate the anniversary of their revolt

Marking the one year anniversary of the beginning of Egypt’s anti-Mubarak uprising, a massive crowd of Egyptians gathered Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Wednesday, joined by smaller crowds in other Egyptian cities. Even as the celebrations united protesters for a few hours, doubts and divisions continued to haunt the largest Arab country, where many have grown weary of the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and many more, particularly the Coptic Christian minority, are fearful of what will happen next now that elections have brought an Islamist dominated legislature to power. Meanwhile, Moslem Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghazlan told London’s Asharq Alawsat daily that “Our group is not prepared to conduct dialogue with Israel – that is our decision. Our position is consistent and clear, and is not up for discussion. We will reject any request from the Israeli embassy to meet with leaders of the group.”

For a closer look at the one year anniversary of the “Arab Spring,” click HERE (PDF)

Meanwhile, US Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, part of a US delegation that held unprecedented talks last week with the Brotherhood, announced on Wednesday that the US would be speeding up the timetable for delivering aid to Egypt.

"During this period, we want to be as supportive as we can,” Hormats said. “This is an historic moment. Egypt's a country of enormous importance. Whether it's an increase or whether it's reprioritizing existing assistance, we're still working this out. It's unfortunate the juxtaposition, that our budgetary constraints comes at the same time that you have this enormously hopeful series of changes in the region."

Hormats described the half-dozen Brotherhood officials he met with as "very pragmatic. They understand, they're the majority party now in the parliament. They are going to be the primary political party in Egypt. They need to deliver results. And their focus primarily is on small- and medium-enterprise" as generators of job creation.

"Democracy is not always a smooth or predictable process," he concluded. "We have to understand that and not expect miracles... We have to explain to the American people that patience is needed and support is needed."

“While many challenges remain, Egypt has come a long way in the past year, and we hope that all Egyptians will commemorate this anniversary with the spirit of peace and unity that prevailed last January,” a White House statement said.


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