Tags: egypt mubarak obama

Obama: Mubarak Must Make Reforms

Friday, 28 Jan 2011 07:08 PM


President Barack Obama said he told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he has a responsibility to live up to promises he made and take “concrete steps” toward political, social and economic reforms.

“Going forward this moment of volatility has to be turned into a moment of promise,” Obama said in remarks at the White House. He spoke a little more than an hour after Mubarak announced in a televised address to his nation that he asked the government to resign and promised to speed up social and economic changes.

Obama and Mubarak talked for about 30 minutes after the Egyptian leader’s speech. Obama said he was “very clear” that Egyptian authorities must refrain from violence in response to protests and that Mubarak is obligated to enact the reforms he promised his people. He also said the demonstrations must be non-violent.

“Ultimately the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people,” he said. “Governments have an obligation to respond to their citizens.”

The U.S. has been ramping up pressure on the Egyptian authorities as Mubarak’s government has clashed with protesters calling for his ouster in Cairo and other cities.

U.S. Aid

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier that the administration would be reviewing the more than $1.3 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt based on how authorities there deal with the opposition.

Obama said the Egyptian people must have the right to assembly, to free speech and self determination. He called on Mubarak’s government to end the blocking of the Internet, including social networking sites that protesters have used to organize.

“The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people,” he said.

The protests have extended to the U.S. Outside the White House earlier today, about two dozen people gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue, chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Hosni Mubarak has to go” and holding signs saying “Mubarak’s gang burning Egypt” and “the minimum Egyptians demand is ‘Mubarak out.’”

Events in Cairo prompted the early departure from the U.S. of an Egyptian military delegation that was at the Pentagon this week for previously scheduled meetings, two Defense Department top officials said on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the early departure.

Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 stock index plunged 11 percent yesterday, the most since October 2008, and has fallen 16 percent in the past two days. The country’s bourse, where companies including Orascom Construction Industries, Talaat Moustafa Group and Orascom Telecom Holding SAE are listed, is the biggest in North Africa by market capitalization.

© Copyright 2011 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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