WikiLeaks leaked cable reveals delicacy of US ties with key ally Egypt

Washington, jan.28 (ANI): A US diplomatic cable leaked by the whistle blowing web site WikiLeaks has revealed that the American ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, had advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to avoid even mentioning the name of jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour during her talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The cable is among a trove of dispatches made public by WikiLeaks that paint a vivid picture of the delicate dealings between the United States and Egypt, its staunchest Arab ally, the New York Times reports.

They show in detail how diplomats repeatedly raised concerns with Egyptian officials about jailed dissidents and bloggers, and kept tabs on reports of torture by the police.

They also reveal that relations with Mubarak warmed up because President Obama played down the public "name and shame" approach of the Bush administration.

A cable prepared for a visit by Gen. David H. Petraeus in 2009 said the United States, while blunt in private, now avoided "the public confrontations that had become routine over the past several years."

This balancing of private pressure with strong public support for Mubarak has become increasingly tenuous in recent days.

Throngs of angry Egyptians have taken to the streets and the White House, worried about being identified with a reviled regime, has challenged the president publicly.

On Thursday, Obama praised Mubarak as a partner but said he needed to undertake political and economic reforms.

In an interview posted on YouTube, Obama said neither the police nor the protesters should resort to violence.

"It is very important that people have mechanisms in order to express legitimate grievances," Obama said.

For her part, Clinton said she hoped President Mubarak and Egyptian Government would take Washington's criticism of Egypt's human rights record in the spirit in which it has been offered, and described Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne as friends of her family.

But, she also said that it was up to the Egyptian people to decide their president's future. (ANI)

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