News / USA

Obama Sees 'Progress' in Egypt

Protesters chant anti-government slogans during mass demonstrations against Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, in Alexandria, Egypt, February 4, 2011
Protesters chant anti-government slogans during mass demonstrations against Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, in Alexandria, Egypt, February 4, 2011

The White House on Monday predicted "a bumpy ride" ahead in Egypt for negotiations that President Barack Obama's spokesman said must lead to free and fair elections and a responsive democracy.  

After saying in an interview Sunday on FOX television that Egypt cannot "go back to where it was," President Obama's only comment on Egypt on Monday was a brief remark to reporters as he walked from the White House to deliver a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The president said "we're making progress," referring to negotiations between the Egyptian government and others to resolve the political crisis.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about Mr. Obama's assessment. "We have the beginnings of a process that we know has to include a series of steps that have to be taken, and a series of things that have to be negotiated with a broad section of the opposition parties in order to move us towards a free and fair election," he said.

Saying the process of change in Egypt will be "bumpy," Gibbs echoed previous statements saying only the Egyptian people will be able to evaluate whether words are turned into action.

Answering a question on FOX television on Sunday, President Obama said "some strains" of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology are anti-U.S., but he added that the group is only one political faction in Egypt that does not enjoy majority support.


White House Video: President Obama on Egypt

Asked about potential Muslim Brotherhood participation in negotiations, the president's spokesman said the United States has "significant disagreements" with the anti-American rhetoric of some its leaders.

The State Department and the White House describe the situation in Egypt as being about "a process rather than about personalities."

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was asked Monday whether the political situation would be complicated by a hasty departure by President Mubarak, saying that could happen because of the way political succession in Egypt is structured.

"If president Mubarak stepped down today, under the existing constitution as I understand it, there would have to be an election within 60 days.  A question that would be posed is whether Egypt today is prepared to have a competitive, open election, given the recent past where, quite honestly, elections were less than free and far," he said.

On political negotiations, Crowley said the United States is concerned that talks held so far are not broad-based enough, and could affect whether Egyptians see them as credible. "There are people who have not been invited in, and this needs to be inclusive.  There are people who are holding the transition process at arms-length because they don’t believe it’s going to be credible.  And our advice would be to test the seriousness of the government and those who are participating to see if it can deliver, and from this people have confidence that change is actually going to occur," he said.

White House Press Secretary Gibbs told reporters that the United States is strongly encouraging a process of meaningful change in Egypt, in which the government outlines a "series of steps and a timeline" that the Egyptian people are comfortable with.

Asked about remarks by Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, who was quoted as saying that his country is not ready for democracy, Gibbs said it is clear that statements like that will not be met with "any agreement by the people of Egypt."

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid