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EGYPT: Clinton warns of 'perfect storm' enveloping the Arab world

February 5, 2011 |  7:59 am

Egypt-hillary-epa
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Arab leaders on Saturday they were at the center of a "perfect storm" of economic and demographic trends that could swallow them up if they didn't quickly enact political reforms.  

"The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends," she said at a conference in Germany, according to Agence France-Presse.

She was referring to the growing number of young Arab people unable to find jobs or a political voice in countries ruled by aging autocrats.

Clinton spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference, where defense and national security leaders worldwide gather to talk shop. 

She also warned attendees that the ongoing Egyptian uprising faced a long road before it could achieve democracy for the country.  

"There are risks with the transition to democracy," she said, the news agency reported. "[The] transition can backslide into just another authoritarian regime. Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy, only to see the political process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception, and rigged elections to stay in power, or to advance an agenda of extremism."

Related:

Change in Egypt could restore its centrality to the Arab world

Israel fears regional regime change

Obama urges Egypt to go into transition process 'right now'

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the Munich Security Conference. Credit: Tobias Hase / European Pressphoto Agency

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