Negroponte: Egypt Should Wait for Elections

Sunday, 13 Feb 2011 03:56 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Negroponte said on Sunday he does not think Egypt should be held to a self-imposed September deadline for new elections and it is more important that the Egyptian people john,negroponte,egypt,electionsbelieve the military, which now controls the government, wants a democratic outcome.

“I think September is a short period of time. I think it's a question of what the trend is, how much progress is being made,” Negroponte told CNN. “I don't think they have to feel bound by a strict deadline.

“I think the important thing is that they [the military] engender enough confidence with the Egyptian people that the Egyptian people think that the military wants the same outcome as they do, and that the military just isn't acting according to some hidden agenda of its own,” he told “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley. “I think that's the important point.”

Crowley asked whether there wasn’t a risk of disappointment if elections were postponed beyond September, because Egyptians have waited a long time for change, particularly in their economy.

“I agree about the risk of disappointment and that's a fairly high risk. And it certainly wouldn't be the first time that that has happened, but it's also an opportunity,” Negroponte said. “There really is an opportunity here to reinvigorate the economy. It may be an opportunity for some other Arab countries like the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to come forward with some kind of rehabilitation package for Egypt.”

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