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Obama Scared to Meet Islamist President of Egypt – But thanks him for help defending embassy

September 24, 2012

President Barack Obama has quietly cancelled a politically risky plan to meet this week with Egypt’s new Islamist president.

The plan was cancelled amid a wave of riots and attacks in Arab countries that have damaged Obama’s campaign-trail claim to foreign policy competence.

In 2011, Obama had “bilateral” meetings with 13 Arab and world leaders during the annual U.S. summit. This year, amid the foreign policy meltdown, his schedule shows no so-called “bilats” with any foreign leaders.

The cancelled visit with Morsi was mentioned in a Sept. 23 New York Times article about Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who now governs the Arab region’s most important country.

Despite critical 2011 support from Obama for the revolt that removed Hosni Mubarak, Morsi is now demanding restrictions on U.S. free speech that is critical of Islam, demanding more U.S. support for the anti-Israeli Islamist governments in Gaza and the West Bank, and more financial aid to help the cash-strapped Egyptian government buy food and fuel for its population of 82 million people.

These Islamist demands clash with Obama’s promise of good U.S.-Arab relations made in his June 2009 “New Beginning “ speech in Cairo.

That controversial speech reversed President George W. Bush’s policy of opposition to Islamists’ demands for theocratic governments in Egypt and other Muslim-majority states.

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