U.S. Aligns With Protesters And Calls For Swift Transition In Egypt
The United States wants an “orderly transition” of power in Egypt to a more representative government, worried that unrest in Egypt could lead to greater violence in the Arab world.
In telephone calls to Egyptian and regional leaders, President Obama and his top national security advisers tried to reassure them that their countries remain vital U.S. strategic partners, while warning that the political status quo is not sustainable.
Senior administration officials said that the “transition” wording, used by both the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was carefully chosen to indicate a desire for a representative, interim government to run Egypt until scheduled presidential elections are held in September.
While President Obama’s handling of the crisis has been popular domestically, the Egyptian opposition and its supporters have not reacted so favorably.
As the administration struggled to move ahead of the situation, its efforts seemed still to leave it one step behind. The shift in message had no visible effect in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, where massive anti-government protests continued for a sixth straight day and demonstrators were still reacting to Obama’s earlier call for Mubarak to adopt reforms.
That advice, pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said, had landed “like lead” in the Egyptian capital.
“To ask a dictator to implement democratic measures after 30 years in power is an oxymoron,” ElBaradei said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It will not end until Mubarak leaves.”
The administration “has been way behind the curve,” said former Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Muasher, a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “So far, they’re just reacting. They’re looking at it from two prisms – the need for stability . . . and the peace process in Israel.”
“This is not about Israel,” Muasher said. “I wish for once the United States would just leave Israel out of this and look at it for what it is. People are fed up with corruption, and they want a better government.”Click here for reuse options!
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