The Obama administration is secretly crafting a plan for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave office immediately – a plan that includes a place for the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood to be in an interim government, The New York Times
reported Thursday night.
The paper detailed a process in which administration officials are discussing with Egyptian officials the exit strategy. A transitional government would be headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats told the Times Thursday.
But so far Mubarak has balked. Still, officials are pushing the plan in discussions with Suleiman, backed by Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the Defense Minister.
More importantly, though, the proposal calls for the transitional government to invite members from the banned Muslim Brotherhood to begin work to open up the country’s electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September, the officials told the Times.
That plan apparently is one of several options under discussion with high-level Egyptian officials around Mubarak, though not him directly, in an effort to convince him to step down now.
Administration officials cautioned that the outcome depended on “several factors, not least of all the mood of the protesters on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and the dynamics within the Egyptian government,” the Times story said.
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