U.S. Quietly Beginning To Bail On Mubarak
In the days since the protests in Egypt began, the statements from American leaders have changed subtly day by day, all the time moving in the direction of putting more and more pressure on Hosni Mubarak. Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the rhetoric even further:
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, but warned there is a long way to go in the process.
“Democracy, human rights and economic reform are in the best interests of the Egyptian people,” she told ABC News.
“Any government that does not try to move in that direction cannot meet the legitimate interest of the people.”
The BBC’s North America editor Mark Mardell says Mrs Clinton’s comments are a sign that the Obama administration is edging towards accepting, if not openly endorsing, an end to Mubarak’s rule.
Mrs Clinton took the rare step of appearing in back-to-back interviews on five US Sunday morning talk shows to address the situation in Egypt.
She was repeatedly asked to back, or oppose President Mubarak, but side-stepped every opportunity to do either, our correspondent says.
“We want to see an orderly transition so that no-one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government,” Mrs Clinton told the “Fox News Sunday” programme.
“We are trying to convey a message that is very clear,” Mrs Clinton told ABC News. “That we want to ensure that there is no violence and no provocation that results in violence… We want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate concerns addressed.”
It strikes me that the U.S. is edging ever closer to the point where, if Mubarak continues his current course of action, or begins to strike out violently against the protesters, we will see a formal break with Mubarak. The one thing that remains to be seen is what this opposition is really all about, and whether they coalesce around a leader that would be acceptable to all sides.