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US raises concern about "anti-Americanism" in Egypt

A US State Department spokeswoman says Washington is concerned about rising anti-American sentiment in Egypt

AFP , Thursday 11 Aug 2011
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The United States said Wednesday it has raised concerns with Egypt's interim military rulers about rising anti-Americanism in the country.

The Wall Street Journal charged that Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is behind a xenophobic campaign in which generals have repeatedly denounced non-governmental organisations that accept US aid money as traitors.

"Let me say with regard to this kind of anti-Americanism that's creeping into the Egyptian public discourse, we are concerned," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"We've expressed these concerns to the Egyptian government. We think this kind of representation of the United States is not only inaccurate, it's unfair."

But Nuland was careful to stress Washington's "strong" support for Egypt's democratic transition. "We will continue to be there for Egypt," she said.

After initial US ambivalence toward pro-democracy protests that erupted in Egypt on 25 January, the United States backed the 11 February ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. It then supported a transition to democracy guided by the military.

The Wall Street Journal said generals are behind the demonisation of Anne Patterson, the new US ambassador to Egypt who took up her post several weeks ago.

A July 31 issue of the state-run magazine October showed Patterson on its cover using blazing US cash to ignite dynamite wrapped in an American flag planted in Tahrir Square, the centre of the popular uprising, according to the newspaper.

Nuland denounced as "unacceptable" all personal attacks against Patterson. "As you know, she is one of our finest, most respected, most experienced ambassadors around the world," Nuland said.

"And she is in Egypt to represent US policy and the American people's aspiration to support a strong, democratic, prosperous Egypt," she added.

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