Blair says change inevitable in Egypt

January 31, 2011 13:51

JERUSALEM — International Mideast envoy Tony Blair said Monday that a change in Egypt's leadership is inevitable after the week of anti-government protests that have gripped the country.

Blair said in an interview that "there's bound to be a process of change" in Egypt, the largest and most powerful Arab nation and a key Western ally.

The former British prime minister did not say explicitly whether Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak must step down. But he said it's important that Egypt holds proper elections and that any transition take place in an orderly fashion.

"People want to get to a position where the Egyptian people are able to express their will in free and fair elections," he said. "But I think the watchword is change with care, because at the same time we have to make sure any change occurs with stability and order."

In particular, he said he was concerned that unrest in Egypt could disrupt the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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