Obama stresses importance of fully democratic Egypt

US president says anti-Mubarak protests "inspired us"; Gibbs compares situation in Iran with Egypt, stresses that threats show fear.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST.COM STAFF
February 12, 2011 17:13
2 minute read.
President Obama campaigning for Rep. Joe Sestak

311_obama yo mama. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama pledged friendship and assistance to the Egyptian people after the dawn of a new political era in Cairo, stressing the importance of a fully democratic and inclusive power taking the reins of government.

“The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt. We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary -- and asked for -- to pursue a credible transition to a democracy,” Obama said at the White House Friday, hours after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down after days of massive protests pushed him to leave office and place the government in control of a military council. "By stepping down," Obama added, "President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change.  But this is not the end of Egypt’s transition.  It’s a beginning."

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Obama added that the transition to democracy will not be an easy one, and that there is much hard work still in store for the Egyptian people. "I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead and many questions remain unanswered," he noted, adding that his confidence that "the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks.  For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.

“This is not the end of Egypt’s transition. It’s a beginning. I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead,” he said, adding that he expected Egyptians to work peacefully  through that to that full transition. “For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.”

Obama also called for concrete steps including lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution, and preparing a path to free and fair elections.





Also on Friday, former US White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, in his final press meeting, said that in response to anti-Mubarak protests in Egypt, "Iran was arresting people, blocking international media outlets, and turning off the internet," adding that "the government of Iran, quite frankly, [is] scared of the will of its people." Gibbs stressed that Iran should allow its people to freely assemble, demonstrate, and express their demands.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard issued a statement saying "Seditionists are no more than a corpse. We will severely crush any of their movements."

Gibbs compared the situation in Iran with that in Egypt, stressing that Iranian threats on their own citizens expresses fear and a lack of self-confidence in the regime's control.


Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in 







Egypt

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