ABC News' Kirit Radia reports:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit today to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt’s uprising earlier this year.
Clinton spent about 10 minutes walking around the square with officials from the US Embassy. A crowd soon formed around her and she greeted them with handshakes.
“To see where this revolution happened and all that it has meant to the world is extraordinary for me. It's just a great reminder of the power of the human spirit and universal desire for human rights and democracy. It's just thrilling to see where this happened,” she said while walking around the square.
Clinton arrived in Egypt yesterday and is the highest level US official to visit Egypt since protests ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, who was a close ally of the United States. During her two day visit she met with both civil society leaders and top officials from the interim government. During her meetings she urged Egyptians to continue on the path towards democracy.
Secretary Clinton’s close relationship with former President Mubarak (she once called him and his wife “friends of my family”) emerged yesterday as a point of contention with some leaders she sought to meet with.
While some youth leaders participated in her civil society meeting on Tuesday evening, others refused to meet with her citing the Obama administration’s perceived support for Mubarak as the protests began.
“Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,” Clinton told reporters when first asked about the unrest on January 25.
“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
- Kirit Radia