Obama urges Egypt’s military to ensure transition to democracy

February 12th, 2011 - 8:17 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb.12 (ANI): U.S. President Obama has urged Egypt’s all powerful military council to ensure a smooth transition to democracy after a street revolution led to the exit of President Hosni Mubarak.

Predicting that Egypt and particularly Cairo would never be the same again, Obama told the military council that any steps that it takes now has to be seen as “credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people.”

He made clear that the people’s revolution would be incomplete unless the military made fundamental changes.

“That means protecting the rights of Egypt’s citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free. Above all, this transition must bring all of Egypt’s voices to the table,” he said.

According to the New York Times, he also offered Egypt “whatever assistance is necessary” to pursue changes that would lead to democracy.

Saying that the protesters have “bent the arc of history,” he likened their accomplishments to those of the Germans who tore down the Berlin Wall and the Indonesians who led an uprising that brought democracy to their country.

Obama described Mubarak as a longtime ally of the United States, but did not offer thanks for his efforts to help carry out United States policy in the region.

The administration has struggled over the past two and a half weeks to respond to the political crisis, trying to balance its craving for regional stability with its sympathy for the Egyptian people’s demands for democracy.

Obama promised to continue American support for Egypt, which gets 1.3 billion dollars in military aid each year, and a comparatively small amount, 250 million dollars of economic aid - but suggested that American support would depend in part on the speed and enthusiasm with which reform took place.

He called for an immediate lifting of the emergency laws that allowed Mubarak to silence his opponents. (ANI)

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