US distances itself from Wisner''s remarks on Mubarak

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 6 (PTI) The Obama Administration hasdistanced itself from the remarks of its special envoy FrankWisner that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should stay inoffice to ensure smooth transition of power.

The Obama Administration, which has been seekingimmediate transition in Egypt, was quick to distance itselffrom Wisner''s remarks.

"The views he (Wisner) expressed today are his own. Hedid not coordinate his comments with the US government," StateDepartment spokesman P J Crowley said yesterday.

According to media reports, Wisner had said that "Mubarakmust stay in office in order to steer those changes through...

This is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward".

Noting that the administration has great respect forWisner and was deeply appreciative of his willingness totravel to Egypt last week, Crowley said the former US envoy toIndia and Egypt "has not continued in any official capacity"following his Cairo trip early this week.

The statement by Wisner, on the sidelines of theMunich Security Conference, is considered significant giventhat the former US Ambassador to Egypt and India wasdispatched by the White House this week to talk to Mubarak andpave way for transition, after anti-Mubarak protests startedin Cairo and other parts of the country.

At the request of US President Barack Obama and Secretaryof State Hillary Clinton, Wisner had travelled to Cairo todeliver the message to Mubarak that neither he nor his sonshould continue in the government after the Septemberpresidential elections.

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