Mubarak should act fast, world says

02.02.2011 - El Cairo - Radio Netherlands

Baroness Ashton told journalists, *”We need to see movement. We’re calling on him to do things as quickly as possible”* she added, after being asked whether the EU believed his offer to step down in September was too late.

She was flanked by Tunisia’s new foreign minister Ahmed Abderraouf Ounais, making his maiden visit overseas after the popular uprising that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime. *”Mr Mubarak has to respond to the will of the people and the demonstrations are a manifestation of that will and he needs to consider extremely carefully how to show that he really is moving forward,”* Ashton added.

**Muslim Brothers reject offer**
82-year-old Mubarak, president of Egypt for the last 29 years, may have hoped that his promise in a televised address on Tuesday night would buy breathing space from demonstrators and the international community. However, Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement on Wednesday there was *”no alternative”* but ending the embattled president’s reign, rejecting his offer to leave after his mandate expires.

**World leaders say ‘go now’**
World leaders gave a cool response on Wednesday to Hosni Mubarak’s vow to quit in September, with Barack Obama saying change must start now and other leaders demanding he stand down immediately.
Soon after Mr Mubarak’s television speech it became clear that his attempt to shut down the argument had failed, with Obama among those indicating that his pledge to leave power after September elections did not go far enough.

*”What is clear, and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now,”* Obama said after a phone call with the long-time US ally. *”He recognises that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place,”* the US president continued in remarks directed at Mubarak, protesters, the Egyptian army and the American public.

Categories: International, Middle East, Politics


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