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European leaders have called for a rapid transition of power in Egypt, a day after President Hosni Mubarak announced he would remain in office until elections in September but not recontest the presidency.
European leaders have called for a rapid transition of power in Egypt, a day after President Hosni Mubarak announced he would remain in office until elections in September but not contest the presidency.
Protesters inCairo and elsewhere in Egypt on Wednesday repeated their call for Mubarak to step down immediately, and clashes broke out between pro- and anti-Mubarak groups.
U.S. president Barack Obama on Tuesday also appeared to suggest change in Egypt should be immediate.
"What is clear and what I indicated tonight [Tuesday] to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now," said Obama. "To the people of Egypt, particularly the young people of Egypt, I want to be clear: We hear your voices. I have an unyielding belief that you will determine your own destiny and seize the promise of a better future for your children and your grandchildren."
Here are excerpts of their statements, compiled from news agency reports.
British prime minister David Cameron led called on Egypt to draw up a timetable to convince people there will be a "rapid and credible" transition of power that will forge a "stable and more democratic future."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Wednesday that Mubarak must begin immediately with the transition to democracy.
"Yesterday President Mubarak announced he would not run for another term — that frees the way for a political new beginning," he said at a news conference, Reuters reported. "People want democratic change and they want it now. It must be a change toward democracy. Not a change that begins sometime [in the future], but one which begins now."
A spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters that Sarkozy “reiterates his wish to see a concrete transition process start without delay, in response to a desire for change and renewal so strongly expressed by the population. He calls on all Egyptian authorities to do everything to ensure that this crucial process takes place without violence.”
"The EU is calling for an orderly transition through a broad-based government leading to a genuine process of substantial democratic reform with full respect of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday to start a transition of power sooner rather than later, a day after Mubarak announced he would surrender power in September, Reuters reported.
"It is very important to get over this period with a temporary administration," Turkish state-run Anatolian news agency quoted Erdogan as saying during a visit to Kyrgyzstan. "People expect Mubarak to take a much different step," said Erdogan, whose country has seen its influence in the Middle East rise in recent years.