Egyptian Protesters Breach U.S. Embassy Walls in Cairo
Several hundred protesters rallied at the U.S. embassy in Cairo on September 11. Reports indicate that many scaled the walls of the embassy, including a few who took down the U.S. flag and replaced it with a black flag bearing the inscription “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.” The protest came in response to a film being produced by American pastor Terry Jones, who became infamous for his burning of the Quran in March of 2011. The film is alleged to insult the Prophet Mohammed. Prior to the protests, the U.S. embassy released a statement saying, “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” A slogan written on the embassy wall retorted, ”If your freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.”
On September 10, officials representing Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey met in Cairo to explore their options regarding Syria. The group focused on finding a resolution to the ongoing civil war, and Egypt in particular was hopeful that this meeting was an initial step for the countries’ foreign ministers to come together in the near future. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that it is supportive of U.N. Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi‘s diplomatic mission and that the “quartet” is committed to “stopping the bloodshed by launching a political process designed to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity.”
Over 100 U.S. business leaders are visiting Egypt as part of a White House-led initiative to encourage investment in the country. Additionally, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil is proposing new economic policies in an effort to jump-start growth amid fears of a currency devaluation and the looming budget shortfall.