World leaders welcome end of Egypt crisis

New York/London, Feb.12 (ANI): World leaders and officials have greeted the departure of President Hosni Mubarak with full-throated expressions of support for the people of Egypt along with some measured words of caution ahead for an uncertain period of political transition.

"Egypt takes the Arab world into a new era. Let's make it a better one," said Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, on Twitter.

The New York Times quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as cautiously saying: "Egypt is a strong state and the continuity of the Egyptian institutions is of crucial importance."

The Israeli government did not issue a formal statement. By contrast, Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, celebrated the news and called on the new government in Egypt to open its border with the territory.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "I respect what must have been a difficult decision taken in the wider interests of the Egyptian people."

British Prime Minister David Cameron called the situation in Egypt a "precious moment of opportunity" but only a "first step."

He added: "Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the wishes of the Egyptian people," he said, which means a "move to civilian and democratic rule."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, called the moment "historic," but added that "the chance for democratic change must be used now."

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Mubarak had "listened to the voices of the Egyptian people and has opened the way to faster and deeper reforms."

European Union parliament president Jerzy Buzek suggested that the shift in power was not enough to judge the protests' success.

He said: "Europe will measure the next steps in the fulfillment of the people's demand by repealing the emergency laws and by ending all intimidation of journalists, human rights defenders or political dissidents."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper urged the new regime to "make a bright future happen for the people of Egypt."

"We congratulate the great nation of Egypt on this victory and we share their happiness," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, said in a statement.

He added: "Today, our people in their millions, while honoring the great Islamic Revolution, showed their solidarity with the brave and justice-seeking movement in Egypt." (ANI)

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