Washington D.C.– President Barack Obama appealed to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to make “the right decision” for his country and urged authorities there to negotiate with a broad representation of the opposition on a transition.
Obama stopped short of calling for Mubarak to immediately step down. How and when Mubarak leaves office after three decades in power and who replaces him “is going to be in the hands of Egyptians,” the president said yesterday at a White House news conference after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“The key question he should be asking himself is, how do I leave a legacy behind in which Egypt is able to get through this transformative period,” Obama said. He said his hope is that Mubarak “will end up making the right decision.”
Mubarak has replaced ministers, promised constitutional reforms and said that he won’t seek re-election in September. Those concessions haven’t satisfied opponents.
“The only thing that will work is moving an orderly transition process that begins right now, that engages all the parties, that leads to democratic practices, free and fair elections, and representative government that is responsive to the grievances of the Egyptian people,” Obama, 49, said at the news conference.