US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Saturday with Islamist Egyptian President-elect Mohamed Mursi, expressing support for his new role.
Clinton stepped lightly in her remarks on the relationship between the new president and the military council that has ruled the nation up to this point.
Speaking to reporters following her meeting with Mursi, Clinton said the United States would “support the military's return to a purely national security role” – a not-so-subtle hint to the generals that it was time for them to stand down from running the country.
On Sunday, Clinton is scheduled to meet with Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt (SCAF) over that, and other issues.
The U.S. promised Cairo a $1 billion aid package one year ago, but has yet to make good on the deal, which may be used to pressure Egypt into maintaining its peace treaty with Israel.
Prior to his election, Mursi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood called for abrogation of the treaty, and a massive, million-man “march to Jerusalem.”
Israel has recently strengthened its presence on its southern border, noting the uptick in pressure on the new Islamist Egyptian government and the increased lack of security in the Sinai Peninsula.