Tuesday, February 1, 2011

UK: US force change in Egypt

The Telegraph

Egypt protests: Washington forces Hosni Mubarak to step down
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was on Tuesday night forced by Washington to announce he would step down at elections later this year.

By Richard Spencer, Cairo

"Mr Mubarak was due in the late evening to appear on state television to announce his departure, which followed mass demonstrations against his rule in Cairo and other major cities.

"But he was likely to refuse to bow to demands by hundreds of thousands of protesters that he quit immediately.

"Mr Mubarak was finally compelled to act after a direct intervention by Barack Obama. The US president sent a special envoy, Frank Wisner, to tell Mr Mubarak that he had lost support and that it was “critical” he oversee a transition to free and fair elections in September.

"Western leaders have repeatedly expressed a desire for a controlled transfer of power. They had been alarmed by Mr Mubarak’s refusal to confirm that neither he nor his unpopular son Gamal would try to stand in September. This raised the risk of greater instability and the seizure of power by radical Islamist forces."

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