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The POMED Wire
White House Prepares for a Post-Mubarak Egypt
January 31st, 2011 by Naureen
Josh Rogin writing at The Cable, spoke with National Security Staff experts who attended a White House meeting on Monday morning over the events in Egypt. The experts stated that the meeting was “intense and constructive” and that “a real debate over the path forward for U.S. policy ensued,” with White House staff implying that they believed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was on his way out. While they have not directly told Mubarak to leave, they have made the United States’ expectations clear; ”We can’t be seen as picking a winner. We can’t be seen as telling a leader to go,” said Ben Rhodes, NSS Senior Director for Multilateral Engagement. While the White House staff is skeptical that new Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over they do see him as an influential force during the “transition period. ” Rogin states that “transition” is the administrations new buzz word which allows them “to position themselves on the side of the protesters without throwing Mubarak completely under the bus.”
Michele Dunne, senior associate in the Middle East Department at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and member of the bi-partisan Egypt Working Group, also urged the White House to make swifter and more forceful statements to prevent misperceptions in Egypt that the U.S. tried to prop up Mubarak’s regime: “What we were trying to tell them is that change is coming, the status quo is passing away, and the question is do we want to shape that change constructively or not.”
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Protests, Reform, US foreign policy |
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