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Egypt Orthodox, Evangelical church reps refuse meeting with Clinton

Church officials, Christian politicians decline invitations to meet with US secretary of state to protest perceived American interference in Egypt's domestic affairs

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Jul 2012
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Egypt's Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo (Photo: Ahram)
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Representatives of Egypt's Orthodox and Evangelical churches on Sunday morning declined invitations to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to protest perceived US interference in Egypt's internal affairs.

Bishop Marcus of the Coptic Orthodox Church told Ahram Online that the clergymen's refusal to attend the meeting with Clinton was intended to voice "our rejection of US intervention in Egypt's domestic affairs and the Americans' strategy of favouring certain Egyptian political currents over others."

Safwat El-Beyadi, head of Egypt's Evangelical Church, likewise refused to meet with Clinton, as did the leaders of other churches.

A number of Christian politicians – including rights activist Michael Mounir, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party's Emad Gad, former MP Georgette Qeleini and business tycoon Naguib Sawiris – also refused to meet with the US state secretary during her brief visit to Egypt.

In a joint statement on Sunday, they expressed their displeasure over Clinton's decision to meet with members of Egypt's Coptic Christian community following earlier meetings with Muslim Brotherhood members and Salafists. They asserted that Clinton's move served to "promote sectarian divisions."

Egypt's Free Egyptians party, of which Sawiris is the founder, staged a protest on Saturday against Clinton's visit, calling on Egypt's various political forces to reject perceived US interference in the country's affairs.

Clinton arrived in Cairo on Saturday, where she met with President Mohamed Morsi for the first time since his inauguration. The meeting with Egypt's first freely-elected head of state was followed by a Sunday meeting with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's quasi-ruling military council.

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greg
19-07-2012 04:38am
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Very Sad
Orthodox Christians in the USA lobbied the US government for recognition and support for Coptic Christians. The Copts have now rejected any aid we might have provided.
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amina
16-07-2012 03:04pm
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Egypt's Christians refuse to meet Clinton
Nothing strange about all Egyptians who understand what's going on, Moslem & Christian, as the USA has been a very strong supporter financially & politically of the Moslem Brotherhood, the reasons are not for the good of Egypt clearly but apparently very good for the USA&Israel. The USA is trying to divide Egypt religiously, economically and politically and all those who have known this for some time are very angry at the unsolicited "help"the USA has been pouring on the MB and against Egyptians of all religions who have been fighting for a democratic country..the thousands who died, are maimed for life or are still languishing in prison....a very high price has been paid in human terms here in Egypt but it seems not to matter to the USA government who clearly has other plans in mind of Egypt....permanent slavery under the MB government like they helped entrench the Khomeinies in Iran now they want to bury Egypt under the MB dictatorship....God bless all free Egyptians and free people
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Werner Kastens, Frankfurt, Germany
16-07-2012 11:30am
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Missed opportunities
If the clerical representatives don't like Missis Clinton to interfere in Egypt affairs, why then they miss the opportunity to tell her this face to face? Are they afraid of getting less financial aid from America then?
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Yusuf
15-07-2012 10:25pm
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Egypt
I am so happy that atleast finally some leaders stoodup and boycotted to meet with clinton. United snikes of America policy toward Egypt at this point is clear,keep the statu quo, no real changes and put egyptians against each other. Protesters in tahrir and those who died for changes must not be forgotten and changes must reprensent all egytians no matter there allegiance or faith;Egypt for all.the path egypt is heading at the moment is to create sunnis dominated government, controled by military and against any changes for egyptians, muslim,christians etc... Egypt must also reconcile with his neigbor and rival Iran.
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Omar Salman
15-07-2012 06:32pm
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Hypocrisy
Absolute hypocrisy by Sawiris. This is the same person who was imploring the Americans to get involved with Egyptian politics before the parliamentary elections to stop the ascendancy of the MB. And he did this all in American television interviews. Now he is protesting against perceived American interference? Take a bow Sawiris, you deserve an award.
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Ahmed Kamel
15-07-2012 05:01pm
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Church Leaders Refuse to meet with Secretary Clinton
Not a very smart decision to ignore a party that has supported the church for years. In order for any party to be taken seriously it has to listen to opinions it might or might not agree with and in the meantime get a chance to share its perspective. The most effective way to influence events in Egypt is to engage your opponent, in a disciplined manner, to show it what it can benefit from the engagement with your side. Yelling and screaming hysterically is not a smart way of engaging in positive negotiations in 2012.
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Hind
16-07-2012 07:19pm
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Church Leaders Refuse to meet with Secretary Clinton
No hysteria! Freedom to demonstrate and freedom of speach!
Hind
16-07-2012 01:41pm
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Church Leaders refuse to meet with Secretary Hillary...
It is called Freedom of Expression! Leave hypocrisy to the professional American and Israely Diplomacy, no one in the West cares for other tahn they dont cares about Palestinian persecution.
Zaynab
16-07-2012 11:13am
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What a Joke this Arab Spring
But waving and shouting hysterically in 2011 was ok? You've all been duped. The Yanks are still in control of your country! Maybe you should've thought about this before you let the Americans control the 'revolution'. Everything for Egypt was negotiated a long time ago. You'll just have to watch as the decisions are made and the puppets are played and then you can have another revolution to oust the puppets next year.
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