Egypt govt rejects international calls for quick transition

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Rania

Cairo, Feb 2 (PTI) Egypt''s ruling regime today spurnedinternational clamour for launching an immediate transition todemocracy and said such calls would only inflame tensions inthe country, as non-relenting protesters continued to demandPresident Hosni Mubarak''s ouster.

As international leaders asked Mubarak to see thewriting on the wall and step aside immediately to make way fora transition, Egypt''s Foreign Ministry rejected the appeals.

"What foreign parties are saying about ''a period oftransition beginning immediately'' in Egypt is rejected,"foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in a statement.

US President Barack Obama, British Prime MinisterDavid Cameron and European Union foreign policy chiefCatherine Ashton have all called for a quick transition inEgypt.

Zaki, however said such statements from theinternational community "sought to inflame the internalsituation in Egypt".

As anti-Mubarak protests entered their ninth day,Obama said an orderly transition was the need of the hour andthat it should begin immediately.

"What is clear, and what I indicated tonight toPresident Mubarak, is my belief that an orderly transitionmust be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must beginnow," Obama said in his speech at the White House after hespoke for 30 minutes with Mubarak, who ruling Egypt for threedecades.

Obama also told America''s long-time ally that Egyptiangovernment should hold free and fair elections in line withthe aspirations of the Egyptian people.

British Prime Minister Cameron also pressed for earlypolitical reforms, and expressed concern over the violencebeing witnessed in Cairo.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned theviolence in Cairo and termed it "unacceptable".

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