Kerry 'greeted' by protests in Egyptviolent protests.
Kerry arrived in Egypt on his first visit to the Arab world since taking office for talks with the leaders of a country mired in political and economic crisis two years after the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
With Egypt's pound and foreign currency reserves sliding, the official said that if Cairo could agree on a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF, this would bring in other funds from the United States, European Union and Arab countries.
However, the official said the United States believed Egypt needed to increase tax revenues and reduce energy subsidies - measures likely to be highly unpopular if the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi forced them through.
"His basic message is it's very important to the new Egypt for there to be a firm economic foundation," the official told reporters as Kerry flew to Cairo.
"In order for there to be agreement on doing the kinds of economic reforms that would be required under an IMF deal there has to be a basic political ... agreement among all of the various players in Egypt," the official said on condition of anonymity.Read the whole thing. It doesn't sound like the loan is going to happen anytime soon unless the IMF agrees to make it a grant.
I almost forgot to mention this part:
A small group of anti-Morsi demonstrators marched from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the center of the 2011 uprising, to the foreign ministry to protest about Kerry's visit.
Some held up cartoons of Kerry, portraying him with an Islamic beard, saying "Kerry - member of the Brotherhood". Others banners said "Kerry, you are not welcome here" and showed the characteristic mustache and fringe of Adolf Hitler superimposed on pictures of Morsi.
The protest at the ministry, where Kerry is due to meet Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr later, was peaceful.
However, youths fought interior ministry police on Saturday in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, where one protester was killed and dozens injured. In the Suez Canal city of Port Said, protesters torched a police station, security sources said.
While these protests were unrelated to Kerry's visit, they were examples of the frequent outbreaks of unrest faced by Egypt's government.
Clashes are commonplace, with protesters demanding that Morsi reform the interior ministry's police force. Police reform was a key demand of the uprising that toppled Mubarak.What could go wrong?