French President Sarkozy calls for transition process 'without delay' in Egypt

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PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday called for a 'transition process without delay' in Egypt as mass anti-government protests continue in the African nation.

Egypt plunged into chaos last week when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo and other major cities to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Some of them clashed with security forces, killing at least 150 people and injuring more than 4,000 others.

Protests reached a new high on Tuesday after opposition leaders called for a million-strong march which was dubbed the "Million Man March." While official figures are incomplete, media reports estimated that at least one million people and as many as two million people joined protests across the nation.

The massive protests on Tuesday led to a televised announcement by Mubarak in which he said he will not run for another term in the September elections. He also asked the Egyptian parliament to hold a session in order to discuss election reform.

The unexpected announcement was welcomed by U.S. President Barack Obama, who said he supports "an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people," and other international leaders.

Sarkzoy, through his office, said on Wednesday that he'd like to see a "real transition process" without further delay and called on Egyptian officials to respond to the desire for change and renewal as expressed with force by the population.

"[Sarkozy] called on all Egyptian officials to do everything possible so that this crucial process proceeds without violence," the Presidential office said in a brief statement. "Linked to Egypt by an old and deep friendship, France renews its support to the aspirations of the Egyptian people for a free, democratic and diverse nation. It will be alongside all those who want to stay peaceful in nature and copy the expression and satisfaction of legitimate expectations."

Mubarak has been at the helm of the northern African country for 30 years.

(BNO NEWS )

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