Obama hopes Mubarak will be able to make the right decision

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 5 (PTI) Reiterating his call forimmediate start of an "orderly transition" in Egypt, USPresident Barack Obama has hoped that Egyptian President HosniMubarak would be able to make the "right decision".

"In order for Egypt to have a bright future, the onlything that will work is moving an orderly transition processthat begins right now that engages all parties, leads todemocratic practices, fair and free elections, andrepresentative government that is responsive to the grievancesof the Egyptian people," Obama said.

The US President said that since Mubarak has himselfannounced he is not going to be running again, he should bethinking on how to leave a legacy behind in which Egypt isable to get through this transformative period.

"My hope is that he (Mubarak) will end up making theright decision," Obama said at a joint news conference withCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday.

Terming the Egyptian President as a proud patriot, Obamasaid he has suggested Mubarak that he needs to consult withthose who are in his government.

"He needs to listen to what''s being voiced by theEgyptian people, and make a judgment about a pathway forwardthat is orderly but that is meaningful and serious," Obamasaid, adding that he has had two round of talks with theEgyptian President so far.

"Having made that psychological break, that decision thathe will not be running again, I think its most important forhim to ask himself, for the Egyptian government to ask itselfas well as the opposition to ask itself is, how do we make thetransition effective, lasting and legitimate?" Obama said.

During each of his conversations with Mubarak, Obama saidhe emphasised the fact that the future of Egypt is going to bein the hands of Egyptians.

"It is not us who will determine that future. But I havealso said that in light of what''s happened over the last twoweeks, going back to the old ways is not going to work.

"Suppression''s not going to work. Engaging in violence isnot going to work. Attempting to shut down information flowsis not going to work," the US President said.

He said change in government and the leadership is not adecision that US or any country outside of Egypt makes.

"What we can do, though, is affirm the core principlesthat are going to be involved in that transition. If you endup having just gestures towards the opposition but it leads toa continuing suppression of the opposition, that''s not goingto work. If you have the pretense of reform but not realreform, that''s not going to be effective," Obama said.

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