Obama prays 'violence will end' in turbulent Egypt

US president explains at annual National Prayer Breakfast that US is "mindful of the violence," hopes "better day will dawn."

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 3, 2011 17:50
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama

Obama close up 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama said Thursday he is praying that the "violence will end" in turbulent Egypt.

Appearing at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Obama said that the United States is "mindful of the violence" that has erupted there in the last 48 hours.

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He said he hopes the aspirations of the Egyptian people can be realized. Obama also said he is wishing that "a better day will dawn over Egypt and through the world."

The US administration has been calling repeatedly in recent days for embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept the clamor for change in the country he has ruled for 30 years and to start a transition toward a more democratic system. Obama has urged restraint on all sides amid an escalation in violence in Cairo.

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Egypt

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Egypt's new Vice President Omar Suleiman to urge an investigation into attacks that have left a number of protesters dead and injured in Cairo.

Clinton urged the government of Egypt to "hold accountable those who were responsible for violent acts", in a statement from the office of the State Department's spokesman released.

Clinton also "expressed hope that both the government and the opposition would seize the opportunity, starting immediately," created by Suleiman's call for "a broad dialogue with representatives of Egypt's opposition parties", the statement also said.

Earlier on Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs expressed frustration that after Obama told Mubarak on Tuesday that an “ordinary transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now,” the only change evident a day later was the use of violence against protesters for the first time after days of demonstration’s calling for the Egyptian leader’s ouster.


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