US: Egypt protests are opportunity for reforms

WASHINGTON— The White House said Thursday it believes Egypt's government is stable, but said the continuing protests provide President Hosni Mubarak an opportunity to enact reforms.
"We believe this represents an opportunity for Mubarak and the government to demonstrate its willingness to listen to its own people and devise a way to broaden the discussion and take some necessary actions on political reform," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Gibbs called on both the government and demonstrators to refrain from violence, but also implored Egypt's government to respect the public's right to assembly.
When asked repeatedly about the perception that the White House was siding with the protesters and not Mubarak as the crisis rages, Gibbs stuck with an answer: "This is not about taking sides."
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