ABC News' Kirit Radia and Alex Marquardt report:
A coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution last month has refused to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Cairo earlier today, in protest of the United States’ strong support for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by the uprising.
“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
A spokesman for Clinton had no immediate response to the snub. Another State Department official, who would not speak for attribution, confirmed such a meeting had been slated for Tuesday and noted that she still plans to meet with members of civil society and transitional government officials during her visit, during which she will urge Egyptians to continue on the path towards democracy.
Mubarak was one of the United States’ strongest allies in the Middle East over successive American administrations. He enjoyed a cozy relationship with top US leaders, which courted Egypt with massive military aid packages as thanks in large part for its support for Israel.
“I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States,” Secretary Clinton told the Arab language satellite channel al Arabiya during a 2009 interview.
As the revolt strengthened in the streets of Cairo, Clinton was perceived as slow to recognize the strength of the protest movement.
“Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,” Clinton told reporters when first asked about the unrest on January 25.
In a separate statement provided to an Egyptian newspaper the youth group said “the US administration took Egypt’s revolution lightly and supported the old regime while Egyptian blood was being spilled.”