February 10, 2011 by staff
Mubarak Resigns, (AP) – Barack Obama called for “orderly and effective” transition to democracy in Egypt Thursday amid reports that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was about to resign. U.S. intelligence indicated a “strong probability” that Mubarak would resign as early as Thursday evening, the CIA director, Leon Panetta, told Congress earlier. Egyptian television said the embattled president would speak to the nation from his palace in Cairo.
“We follow the events in Egypt today very closely,” Obama said, adding he would “have more to say it will end. ”
“What is absolutely clear is that we are seeing history unfold,” Obama told students at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. “This is a transformative moment.”
Mubarak has been under enormous pressure from protesters pushing for an immediate end to its capacity of 29 years in power.
Washington officials followed the drama in Cairo with the expectation of hope for a smooth transition – mixed with concern about the unpredictability of evolution.
“There is no doubt that what we see happening in Egypt will have a huge impact,” Panetta told the House Intelligence Committee. “If done right, it will help much in trying to promote stability in this region. Should this not occur, it could create serious problems for us and for the rest of the world.”
Obama said, “The people of Egypt want changes, they turned in extraordinary numbers and ages and all walks of life.” More importantly, Obama said he was young ” who were at the vanguard “of change request.
“We want these young people, and we want all the Egyptians to know America will do everything we can to support an orderly transition and genuine democracy in Egypt, he told his young audience. Obama was in Michigan to promote plans to expand access to high-speed wireless.
Sameh Shoukry, Ambassador of Egypt to the United States, told The Associated Press in Washington, he was a “fluid situation” and “there are indications that something extraordinary will happen.”
The regime of President Hosni Mubarak seems to be on the verge of collapse after senior politicians said they want him removed from power in the coming hours as strikes and demonstrations spread across the country.
Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq told the BBC he thought that Mubarak would resign and that the situation in the country will be clarified soon.
Hossam Badrawi, the new secretary general of the ruling party, was quoted in state media as saying that he asked Mubarak to transfer power to his vice-president, Omar Suleiman, and that the expected to resign tonight. But he later told state television that no decision had been taken.
While street protests intensified in recent days, it became increasingly difficult to imagine the Egyptian strongman hanging power until presidential elections scheduled for September. Mubarak had promised reform too often in the past, than betray his word every time. For members of the protest movement, Mubarak who clings to power symbolized everything they came to oppose the Egyptian political system calcified.
“If Mubarak resigns, it will be a positive and important development that will not end the tragedy in Egypt, but it will mark the end of the beginning,” said Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Obama stressed that the transition should” begin now to Egypt, and the resignation will be irrevocable proof that the transition has begun. This increases the chances that the transition will be orderly and peaceful, as opposed to the chaotic and violent. “
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