CAIRO: Cairo University will be the venue for US President Barack Obama’s speech when he visits Egypt this Thursday, the US embassy confirmed in a press advisory.
The statement said that Obama will be giving his speech – in which he intends to address the Muslim world – from Cairo University and that it was also being co-hosted by Al-Azhar University.
Al-Azhar University had initially been mooted as the possible venue for the speech since it is the oldest Islamic learning institution in the world. The choice of Cairo University in the end was intended to potentially expand the audience as it would appeal to secularists in the region as well.
The Muslim Brotherhood released a statement saying that the group will only comment on Obama’s visit after it ends, as details of the trip remain unclear. However, the group did indicate its displeasure with American policy in general.
“We cannot forget the continued support in all its types, whether political, economic and military, that the United States offers to the Zionists to shed the blood of Arabs and Muslims in Palestine, the statement read.
Obama’s visit will come a week after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments advising Egypt to pursue a democratic course in its politics with special emphasis on respecting human rights.
She said Thursday, “It is in Egypt’s interest to move more toward democracy and to exhibit more respect for human rights.
The local media published last week that Cairo University would be the proposed site for Obama’s speech and had also reported that a massive clean-up project was underway in preparation.
Quoting a diplomatic source, Al-Masry Al-Youm said that Obama would only stay in Egypt for eight hours before heading to Germany.
According to the source, Obama will arrive at 10 am and be received by President Hosni Mubarak at Abdeen Palace an hour later for a 45-minute closed conference. He will then make his speech from beneath the hallowed dome of Cairo University at 12:30 pm. The speech will last an hour.
After the speech Obama is then set to meet with officials from the US embassy before departing Egypt at 6 pm.