US envoy in Egypt warned over 'stirring up sedition'

'Egypt is not Afghanistan. Whoever tries to tamper with its security will get a violent response from the revolutionaries'

Cairo: A popular Egyptian cleric on Friday sternly warned the US Ambassador in Cairo Anne Patterson against alleged attempts to “stir up sedition” in the country.

“Egypt is not Afghanistan. Whoever tries to tamper with its security will get a violent response from the revolutionaries,” Mazhar Shaeen, a Muslim preacher, told thousands of worshippers in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Patterson, a career diplomat who previously served in Pakistan, arrived in Cairo in August, months after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down.

Relations between Egypt and the US have been cool since the popular revolt that toppled Mubarak, who was a key ally of Washington in the region.

“We all should join hands and keep united until the objectives of the revolutions are achieved,” Shaeen added in a sermon.

At a recent business forum in Cairo, Patterson admitted that Egyptian public’s “negative perception” of her country is a “source of frustration” for her embassy.

Her country’s policy in the Middle East was scathingly criticized by Ahmad Al Tayyeb, the Shaikh of Al Azhar, the influential Sunni Islamic seat of learning, during a meeting in Cairo this week, according to local media.

Thousands of Egyptians Friday gathered in Tahrir Square, the focal point of anti-Mubarak revolt, to demand Egypt’s military rulers to scrap a state of emergency and amend a new election law, which opposition says allows Mubarak’s loyalists to return to parliament. Egyptians are due to elect a new parliament on November 28.
 

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