U.S. noncommittal on Muslim group joining talks

The Egyptian ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, insisted that the transition is under way and said “the Egypt of the future will look significantly different than Egypt of the past.”

Mrs. Clinton addressed in her interview the phenomenon of anti-government protests that began in Tunisia and then spread to Egypt and other Arab nations.

“Some leaders listen better than other leaders, but all leaders have to recognize now that the failure to reform, the failure to open up their economies and political systems, is just not an option any longer,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton said the “forces that are at work, particularly because of the advances in communications technology, are not reversible.”

The United States understands that and wants to “play a constructive role in helping countries move in the direction of more openness and more democracy and participation and market access, the things that we stand for,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton also acknowledged that over the years the United States has had close relations with autocratic regimes that are not popular with their people and run counter to American ideas and ideals.

“There is no easy answer to how we pursue what’s in America’s interests because ultimately my job, the president’s job, is to protect the security, the interests of the United States,” she said.

“Do we do business with, do we have relations with, do we support governments over the past 50 years that we do not always see eye to eye with? Of course. That’s the world in which we live, but our messages are consistent,” she said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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