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Egyptian Americans Say US Should Pressure Mubarak Government

  • Mohamed Elshinnawi

Egyptian Americans demonstrate outside the White House

Egyptian Americans demonstrate outside the White House

Many Egyptian- Americans are saying they want President Barack Obama and Congress to pressure President Hosni Mubarak to relinquish power immediately. But the US has not said Mr. Mubarak should step aside now. President Obama has said President Mubarak should not run for reelection.. On Thursday, a group of Egyptian Americans met with a member of Congress near Washington, DC to press their views.

The peaceful uprising in Tahrir Square that took a sudden turn to violence as Mubarak supporters launched violent attacks has Egyptian Americans, and at least one Congressman, glued to the TV.

Democratic Congressman Jim Moran is from a district in Virginia close to Washington DC. He met with some of his Egyptian-American constituents on Thursday to hear their concerns.

"You should go to the floor please. I beg you to go and talk to the other congressmen and inform them about the massacre taking place over there," said one member of the group.

The congressman said his staff would craft a resolution.

But what kind of resolution.

Some of the Egyptian Americans said the U.S. should cut military aid to Egypt as a form of pressure on the Mubarak government. "Pull the plug please. And the time is now," said one Egyptian American.

Egyptian American activist Dina Darweesh said the U.S. can use its close ties to Egypt's military " send a clear message that they need to allow the peaceful demonstrators to topple the government."

President Barack Obama has called for a peaceful and meaningful transition to democracy now, without offering specifics.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said if the Egyptian government is behind the violence against peaceful protesters, it must stop

Mokhtar Kamel, communication director for the Alliance of Egyptian-Americans told the Congressman how he sees the situation. "U.S. national interest lies with democrats who have staged this revolution in Egypt and not with anybody else," he said.

Congressman Moran seemed to agree. "I think we should more strongly get on the side of American values and that clearly means Mubarak has to leave and we support a new more open and freer elections and leaders who are more representative of the will of the people," he said.

Egyptian Americans continue to demonstrate daily in front of the White House, advocating decisive American backing for the uprising. But it is unclear how far President Obama or Congress will go to meet their demands.