'Egyptians want a different answer from Mubarak'

Turkish PM says current Egyptian gov't fails to deliver confidence for beginning a new democracy; Sarkozy calls for non-violent transition.

February 2, 2011 13:05
2 minute read.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday called on the Egyptian leader to hurry up his transition process, and to complete it peacefully and without violence.

Erdogan commented that the Egyptian people are waiting for a different decision to that made by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, AFP reported. Anti-government protests in Cairo and several Egyptian cities are demanding Mubarak step down, saying that they will accept nothing less than regime change.

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"The current [Egyptian] administration fails to give confidence for beginning an atmosphere of democracy within a short period of time," Erdogan said.

US, Turkey, Iraq, Switzerland urge citizens to leave Egypt
Erdogan calls on Mubarak to heed calls for change

"People expect Mubarak to take a very different step," he added, saying that the Egyptian people may not be contented until an early, full transition of power took place. "I don't think it is possible to satisfy the people without a schedule."

His statement followed an announcement by the Egyptian president Tuesday night that he would not seek another term in the country's September elections, but saying he would not step down before then. Mubarak faced much opposition from protesters during and following his speech, with crowds heckling, booing, and chanting "Leave! Leave! Leave!"

Erdogan commented after reportedly watching events unfold on Cairean streets late into Tuesday night.

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Turkey, a member of NATO, is often used by the West as an example of democracy in a majority Muslim nation. In recent years, Turkey has attempted to increase its regional influence, having acted as an intermediary in Syrain-Israeli negotiations, and voting against increased sanctions on Iran at the UN Security Council following the Iranian nuclear issue.

Turkish relations with Israel, however, hit its lowest point in years, Turkey once being considered one of Israel's closest friends in the Middle East. Erdogan had recently stepped up criticism of the current government and its policies concerning the Palestinians.

In an announcement published from the French president's office Wednesday, Sarkozy said: "It is on all the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible so that the decisive process will pass without violence."

Sarkozy called for a quick change of leadership in Egypt, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The French president's announcement said: "It is on all the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible so that the decisive process will pass without violence."

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