US President Barak Obama 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
The US Embassy in Cairo has told Americans in Egypt to consider leaving the country as soon as possible.
Sunday morning travel warning said the Embassy will update Americans
about departure assistance as soon as possible. It said US citizens
should avoid travel to Egypt because of unrest, violence, and ongoing
demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's government.
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warning was an escalation in the assessment of the situation by the US
government, which previously had advised against non-essential travel to
On Saturday, President Barack Obama issued a plea for restraint in Egypt after meeting with national security aides to assess the Cairo government's response to widespread protests threatening the stability of the country.
A White House statement said Obama "reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint, supporting universal rights, and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt."
But Obama offered no reaction to President Hosni Mubarak's decision earlier Saturday to name a vice president for the first time since coming to power nearly 30 years ago. Mubarak appointed his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, who's well respected by American officials. The president also fired his Cabinet.
Five days of protests have left at more than 70 dead.
Before Suleiman's appointment, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the US wanted to see Mubarak fulfill his pledges of reform as protests swept the country.
"The Egyptian government can't reshuffle the deck and then stand pat," Crowley said on his Twitter account. "President Mubarak's words pledging reform must be followed by action."
Crowley said Egyptians "no longer accept the status quo. They are
looking to their government for a meaningful process to foster real
After speaking to Mubarak by telephone late Friday, Obama delivered a
four minute statement calling on the Egyptian leader to take steps to
democratize his government and refrain from using violence against his
As events unfolded Saturday, Obama and his advisers kept a low profile.
At the White House, top diplomatic, security and intelligence officials
gathered for two hours for review the situation in Egypt. The meeting
was led by national security adviser Tom Donilon and included White
House chief of staff William Daley and CIA Director Leon Panetta. Vice
President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and
Margaret Scobey, the US ambassador to Egypt, participated by
teleconference, the White House said.
Obama did not attend that session.