WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday welcomed the peaceful transition of power in Egypt with the resignation of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. "The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard. And Egypt will never be the same," he declared.
In brief remarks in the Grand Foyer of the White House, the president noted that it was "not the end of Egypt's transition, it's the beginning." He said that many important questions remain to be resolved and difficult times lie ahead.
"I'm confident the people of Egypt can find the answers," Obama said. He spoke hours after Mubarak stepped aside, turning authority over to the military. It was a turnaround from the night before, when the Egyptian leader defiantly refused to give up his title.
Said Obama: "Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained by violence."
"For Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force, that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."
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