Sunday, January 30, 2011

China: Obama on Egypt crisis

Obama warns Egypt against violence

"WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called Friday on Egyptian authorities not to use violence against raging political protests, and drove home his message in a 30-minute phone call with President Hosni Mubarak.

"His warning came as the United States toughened its line on Mubarak's government, a key Middle Eastern ally, warning it would review billions of dollars in aid to Egypt based on the behavior of the security forces.

"Obama urged Mubarak to take "concrete" steps towards political reforms, saying he must turn "a moment of volatility" into "a moment of promise" after a day of rage in Egyptian cities on which the death toll from protests hit 27.

"I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters," Obama said, after aides said the White House was readying for any possible political scenarios in Egypt.

"The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association. The right to free speech and the ability to determine their own destiny."

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