Mrs. Clinton Heads to MENA

by Matthew Shaffer

The Secretary of State goes overseas today to address the instability in the Middle East — both to meet with the Libyan opposition and debate with Europeans the requested no-fly zone, and to survey the transition efforts in Egypt. The Associated Press reports: 

Clinton heads Sunday to Europe and then to the first Cabinet-level U.S. talks with the Libyan opposition and discussions on democratic reform with transitional leaders in post-revolt Egypt and Tunisia…


With Libya embroiled in near civil war and Washington and its NATO allies divided on military intervention, Clinton will discuss options with European officials on Monday in Paris, where she also plans to see foes of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi to assess their capabilities and intentions.

It was not entirely clear which Libyan opposition leaders Clinton would be seeing in Paris or if she would hold further meetings with Qadhafi opponents in Cairo or Tunis. U.S. ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, who has been in Washington since early January, has been leading the administration’s effort to reach out to the opposition but his contacts have not yet produced a clear picture of Libya’s anti-Qadhafi interim governing council, or the extent of its backing.


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