SANTA BARBARA, California — Former US vice president Dick Cheney on Saturday called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a good friend and US ally, and he urged the Obama administration to move cautiously as turmoil continued to shake that nation's government.

Cheney's comments came a day after US President Barack Obama pressed Mubarak to consider his legacy and exit office in a way that would give his country the best chance for peace and democracy.

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Cheney said the US should take measured steps in public, and suggested that too much pressure could backfire.


"There is a reason why a lot of diplomacy is conducted in secret. There are good reasons for there to be confidentiality in some of those communications. And I think President Mubarak needs to be treated as he deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend," Cheney said at an event commemorating the centennial of President Ronald Reagan's birth.