US official visits Egypt amid anti-American sentiment
Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns is currently visiting with Egyptian officials in an attempt to display American support after the recent government upheaval.
Burns is the most senior official that has visited Egypt since the recent power struggle. Both protesters and Mohammed Morsi supporters alike have criticized the United States’ wavering stance on the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in Egyptian governance.
During his three-day visit, Burns will meet with numerous government officials as well as civil society leaders to discuss the changing Egyptian political landscape and its implications.
A State Department spokesman said that Burns’ visit is meant to “underscore U.S. support for the Egyptian people, an end to all violence, and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government.”
Monday morning, Burns met with Egyptian General Commander of Armed Forces, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to discuss means of strengthening cooperation between the United States and Egypt’s newest governing body.
American skepticism has grown amongst Morsi supporters and rebels alike, as President Obama has refused to take a side in the wake of the Egypt’s government overhaul. As the situation worsens, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson has become a lightening rod for conflict and the face of Egypt’s anger with the West.
When previous leader, Morsi, was elected to office in 2011, President Obama supported his governance, despite his Muslim Brotherhood connections.
Although the Obama administration originally supported Morsi, because he was democratically elected, the United States refuses to condemn the political coup. Burns’ meetings with Egyptian officials display a willingness to work with and support the new government.
Burns will remain in Egypt until Tuesday.