Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held her first meeting with Egypt's new Islamist president today, saying that America's "shared strategic interests far outnumber our differences" with Cairo. Clinton hoped to use the meeting to steer Mohammed Morsi toward opening a dialogue with the military that could end the country's political crisis. She said afterward that it is up to the Egyptians to decide the way ahead—and that "requires dialogue and compromise, real politics."
Morsi is in the middle of a showdown with the generals who ruled Egypt for 16 months after Hosni Mubarak's ouster and who handed power over to him on June 30. The generals retained far-reaching powers and stripped Morsi of many of his before they stepped down and he was inaugurated. The US has been careful not to take sides, focusing on principles instead of personalities and parties. The Obama administration has called on all sides to negotiate a path forward that remains faithful to the ideals of Egypt's 2011 revolution.