Egypt unrest: US distances itself from envoy's comment on Mubarak

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Washington, Feb.6 (ANI): The US State Department has distanced itself from comments made by a US special envoy Frank Wisner in which he said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should stay in office during a power transition.

Spokesman Philip Crowley said Frank Wisner's views were his own, and not coordinated with the US government.

The Telegraph quoted Crowley, as saying: "We have great respect for Frank Wisner and we were deeply appreciative of his willingness to travel to Egypt last week."

He added: "He has not continued in any official capacity following the trip. The views he expressed today are his own. He did not co-ordinate his comments with the US government."

Earlier, Wisner, a veteran diplomat who knows Egypt and President Mubarak well, urged people to control their rhetoric.

He said that, in his view, Mubarak should stay in office to steer these changes through.

Wisner was sent by President Obama to Cairo last Monday, apparently to urge Mubarak to announce his departure.

"We need to get a national consensus around the pre-conditions for the next step forward. The president must stay in office to steer those changes," he told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"I believe that President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical - it's his chance to write his own legacy," he said, adding "he has given 60 years of his life to the service of his country, this is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward." (ANI)

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