US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Egypt’s Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi on July 15, 2012 in Cairo.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held a meeting with Egypt’s head of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi on the second day of her visit to the North African country.
The Sunday visit comes a day after Clinton met with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at the presidential palace in the upscale suburb of Heliopolis, after arriving in Cairo on Saturday.
During the meeting with Tantawi the American official reportedly discussed the transition of power to a civilian government. SCAF took power after the downfall of Egypt's longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
This as hundreds of Egyptians held a demonstration in Cairo on Saturday to protest against Clinton’s visit.
The demonstrators said that they were opposed to US efforts to control and potentially divide Egypt.
Washington, which threw its weight behind the Mubarak regime for over three decades, now claims to support Egypt's transition to democracy.
Last week, Morsi ordered the parliament to reconvene, in defiance of a ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court which dissolved the legislature prior to the June presidential election.
Under a constitutional declaration issued on June 17, the military assumed legislative powers and control over the country’s budget.
Morsi ordered the dissolved parliament to resume its legislative activities and also called for new parliamentary elections to be held within 60 days of the ratification of the new constitution.
However, the high court overturned Morsi’s decree, ruling that its decision was ‘binding’ and could not be challenged.
Egyptian pundits say the military and the high court are trying to undermine the powers of the new president in order to hang on to power.