Posts tagged ‘Omar Suleiman’


A Free Egypt Can Be Good for Israel

While Israel has legitimate concerns regarding its future alongside an Egypt that will be reflecting the will of its people, democratization could also be to Israel’s benefit. But attention needs to be paid to the opportunity of creating a true peace between two peoples rather than between two governments.

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UPDATE 18:29 GMT: On state TV, Egypt’s Supreme Military Council makes very brief statement thanking both Mubarak for his 30 year’s of service and appreciation to the martyrs of Tahrir Square. Suleiman seems to be out of the picture.

UPDATE 16:19 GMT: Jubilant reaction in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (via Al Jazeera English, CNN and CBS, respectively):
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
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UPDATE 16:06 GMT: Suleiman’s complete statement: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.”

UPDATE 16:02 GMT: Military council to run affairs of the country, Suleiman says.

UPDATE 16:02 GMT: Suleiman, on state TV, announces that Mubarak has stepped down. Crowds in Tahrir Square and elsewhere jubilant.

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Note: More recent updates are available here.

UPDATE 24:03 GMT: Tweet from “Fake_Dispatch” is making the rounds: “BREAKING: New Facebook upgrade option is called Mubarak. You click on quit and nothing happens.”

UPDATE 23:52 GMT: On the plus side, Egyptians now have a chance to recapture the $70 billion Mubarak family has looted. Works out to USD $84,337.97 per Egyptian.

UPDATE 23:35 GMT: White House statement expected soon. WH was obviously blindsided. Double-crossing, false signals rampant in this episode. Mubarak made references to “foreign” pressure in the open and in the close of his speech.

UPDATE 23:22 GMT: Under Egyptian Constitution, three powers Mubarak did NOT transfer to Suleiman: 1. Power to fire Cabinet, 2. Power to disband Parliament, 3. Power to change Constitution. (My thought, and I’m sure the thoughts of millions of Egyptians): These are BIG loopholes.

UPDATE 23:17 GMT: BBC’s Paul Adams in Tahrir Square says the army seems more nervous than it had been before: “People are talking about the possibility of marches tomorrow, of going to the presidential palace, and that they know that could be a gauntlet to the army. But a number of people were insisting that the army remained neutral, even though there was a slight suspicion they were lied to earlier in the day when they were told ‘tonight you will get all your demands.’ They still believe the army is neutral.”

UPDATE 23:12 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wederman tweet: “It’s amazing how far and how fast relations between the governments of the US and #Egypt have deteriorated.”

UPDATE 22:59 GMT: Obama to meet with national security team to discuss Egypt situation.

UPDATE 22:57 GMT: ElBaradei on CNN, asked if transfer to Suleiman is supportable: “Absolutely not.” Says there’s no difference between Suleiman and Mubarak. Says it’s unclear if army is with Mubarak or with the people.

UPDATE 22:41 GMT: ElBaradei via Twitter: “Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now.”

UPDATE 22:40 GMT: Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Shoukry to US is telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Mubarak has transferred “all power” to Suleiman and that Mubarak retains title but is “president in name only.”

UPDATE 22:34 GMT: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first comment on the Mubarak speech: “I hope Egypt gets a democracy, not an Iran-style religious dictatorship.”

UPDATE 22:27 GMT: Comments compiled by Reuters…

Stephen Grand, Brookings Institution: “It was quite surreal. He’s a stubborn old man who refused to see the writing on the wall. I happen to believe the demonstrations will continue, people will continue to push for his ouster and eventually will succeed.”

Robert Springborg, US Naval Postgraduate School: “The speeches tonight are not intended to bring an end to the crisis in a peaceful way but to inflame the situation so there is justification for the imposition of direct military rule. They are risking not only the coherence of the military but even indeed, and I use this term with advisement here, civil war. I think it needs to be made perfectly clear (by outside powers) that Mubarak and his regime are forfeiting Egypt’s future. Egypt is in an economic crisis. It is going to have to be bailed out and the short answer to what they are doing now is that it will not be bailed out with anything like a military regime in place that is associated with Mubarak, Omar Suleiman and these people who are part of this regime.”

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Egypt Army To Mubarak: Time To Go – Announcement May Come Tonight

Update from The New York Times:
Egypt’s armed forces on Thursday announced that they had begun to take “necessary measures to protect the nation and support the legitimate demands of the people,” a step that suggested the military intends to take a commanding role in administering the strife-torn nation.

The announcement of an enhanced role for the military came as officials in President Hosni Mubarak’s government suggested a momentous shift in power was underway, including a possible transfer of power from Mubarak to his Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), told Egyptian state news outlets and the BBC that Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation soon, and that he would likely step down from his post.

Earlier update from the BBC:
A senior member of Egypt’s governing party has told the BBC he “hopes” that President Hosni Mubarak will transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), said Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation on Thursday evening.

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Lessons In Social Unrest

Representatives of the young anti-government protestors camped out on Cairo’s Tahrir Square could join talks between the Egyptian government and other opposition leaders on Thursday. The disparate factions on Tahrir Square have resolved their differences and have formed a delegation that includes Egyptian-born Google executive Wael Ghonim, who was recently released from custody.

Ghonim, the head of marketing for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, spent almost two weeks in custody for his role in organizing the protests. Upon his release, he gave an emotional speech honoring the protestors who lost their lives that turned him into the face of the protest movement.

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Official Warnings Get Threatening

As Egypt’s uprising entered its 17th day on Thursday, bolstered by labor strikes and worker protests across the country, a senior official in President Hosni Mubarak’s embattled government was quoted as saying the army would “intervene to control the country” if it fell into chaos.

The warning by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit seemed to add a further ominous tone to earlier comments by the newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman who said the alternatives facing tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s ouster were dialogue with the authorities or “a coup.”

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Inside White House Egypt Meeting


Among those who attended were the Center for Strategic and International Studies’s Jon Alterman, Dan Brumberg of the U.S. Institute of Peace, Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University and the Wall Street Journal, former George W. Bush White House Middle East and democracy advisor Elliott Abrams, Human Rights Watch’s Tom Malinowski, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Michele Dunne, and Scott Carpenter, a former State Department Middle East democracy official now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The one and a half hour meeting, with the National Security Council’s Dan Shapiro, Samantha Power, and Ben Rhodes, was off the record.

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Government Digs In, Issues Warnings As Protests Grow And Tensions Rise

Anti-government protests in the Egyptian capital Cairo have spread to the country’s parliament, with access blocked by demonstrators.

Soldiers are guarding the People’s Assembly building after a 16th consecutive day of protests.

They took place despite a warning by Vice-President Omar Suleiman that demonstrations must end.

There are reports of widespread industrial action, and of protests outside Cairo turning violent.

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Is Opposition Easing On Mubarak Exit?

Washington Post

The main Egyptian opposition groups eased up on their insistence that President Hosni Mubarak step down immediately, agreeing instead on Sunday to join in talks toward overhauling the country’s political system at a more gradual pace while Mubarak remains in office.

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Two Killed As Egypt VP Hit Fails

Fox News is reporting that a failed assassination attempt on Egypt’s vice president in recent days left two of his bodyguards dead.

Such an attempt on the life of Omar Suleiman would mark an alarming turn in the uprising against the government of President Hosni Mubarak, who only recently named Suleiman as vice president in an effort to quell the unrest and possibly line up a successor.

A senior Obama administration official confirmed that the attack happened soon after Suleiman was appointed, on Jan. 29. The official described it as an organized attack on Suleiman’s motorcade.

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Reuters: Heavy Gunfire in Tahrir Square

Reuters is now reporting heavy gunfire in Tahrir Square.

Earlier, Reuters posted this single-sentence update: Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman will meet a group of prominent independent figures on Saturday promoting a solution to the crisis that would see him assume the president’s powers for an interim period, Diaa Rashwan, one of the group invitees tells Reuters.


US, Egypt Talk Plan For Mubarak’s Exit

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, turning over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday.

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Cairo Protests Reach Largest Crowd Yet

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will step down after elections this year, bowing after 29 years in power to a popular uprising that has begun to reshape the Middle East.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will step down from power after his term expires this fall, for the first time setting a date to end his three decades of authoritarian rule.

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