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Updated: March 16, 2011 16:46 IST

U.S. backs move for full-fledged democracy in Egypt: Clinton

PTI
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, is greeted by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, as they start a private meeting at the Defence Ministry, on Wednesday in Cairo. Photo: AP.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, is greeted by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, as they start a private meeting at the Defence Ministry, on Wednesday in Cairo. Photo: AP.

First highest level American leader to visit Egypt after the recent uprising, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today extended Washington's full support in the nation's march towards full-fledged democracy.

On a tour to revive U.S. contacts with new regimes sprouting in the Arab region, Ms. Clinton described the largest Arab country as the "new Egypt" telling cheering crowds that "this moment history belongs to you".

"Today, Egypt is rising. Egypt, the mother of the world, is now giving birth to democracy," Ms. Clinton said.

Seeking to set up ties with new leaders, the U.S. Secretary of State visited the Cairo's now famous Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the popular uprising that toppled Egypt's long time autocratic leader last month.

"This square is a great reminder of the power of the human spirit and desire for freedom, human rights and democracy," she said describing it a thrill to be " where it all happened".

The U.S. Secretary of State whose visit to Egypt comes just ahead of Saturday's proposed referendum on constitutional reforms and holding new presidential elections met the country's new prime minister as well as army chief before heading for Tunisia which was also rocked by similar revolt.

Speaking at a joint press conference with her Egyptian counterpart Nabil el-Arabi, the American leader said of the revolution "This is your achievement and you broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy".

Meanwhile, an Egyptian group has condemned Ms. Clinton's visit. The Coordinative Committee for the People of the Egyptian Revolution condemned the U.S. policies on Egypt in the past decades.

The committee urged the U.S. administration to apologise for the Egyptian people for its policies in the past decades.

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