World Leaders React to Mubarak's Ousting

World | February 12, 2011, Saturday // 10:02|  views

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the current situation in Egypt, at the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington DC. Photo by EPA/BGNES

In an address from the White House, US President, Barack Obama, said the "people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same."

Obama likened the relatively peaceful ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to the fall of the Berlin Wall and to the advances of the American civil rights movement. Invoking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, he said: "There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom. Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken it up."

The entire Obama address read HERE.

The first to make a statement on Mubarak's resignation was the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton, who said "the President has listened to the voices of the Egyptian people and has opened the way to faster and deeper reforms."

"Moscow hopes the Egyptian authorities will be able to secure the normal functioning of the State institutions and that the opposition will show readiness to direct the events towards normalizing the situation. To us what happened in Egypt is a result of internal processes," Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov said, cited by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

The German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle pointed out Egypt has started on the road of democracy and peace, not only in the country, but in the entire region must be guaranteed. Chancellor, Angela Merkel, applauded Mubarak's decision to withdraw, calling it a historic change, and appealed to those who are now responsible and will be in the future to make the country's progress irreversible.

"I am rejoicing with the people of Egypt," Merkel said.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon called for a "transparent, peaceful and gradual transition in Egypt."

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, appealed to Egypt to transition to a civic cabinet and benefit from the priceless opportunity to have a government that would unite the entire country.

"As friends of Egypt and of the Egyptian people we are ready to help in any way possible. These events are just a first step. People ruling Egypt must now start establishing a civic and democratic rule," Cameron said.

Meanwhile, as street revolutions deposed two dictators in less than a month, starting with the ousting of Tunisia's leader, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Middle East leaders from Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Yemen have moved to pre-empt similar uprisings.

In Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which depended heavily on Mubarak, officials are criticizing Washington, arguing that the United States abandoned a long-time ally without first building in guarantees that Egypt's revolution could not be hijacked by religious extremists.

The Saudis, as Mubarak himself, see the uprising as the creation of "foreign powers," which was widely interpreted as code words for Washington and other Western powers.

"We are astonished, however, at what we see as interference in the internal affairs of Egypt by some countries. We are shocked to see that there are countries pre-empting even the will of the Egyptian people, never addressing the fact that the protests in Egypt seemed both widespread and homegrown," Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said

While there are few signs yet of protests in Saudi Arabia, the government there has taken steps to raise wages and try to keep the contagion from spreading across its own desert.

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Tags: Saud al-Faisal, Barack Obama, US, Washington, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Israel, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Guido Westerwelle, Sergey Lavrov, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, Omar Suleiman, protest rallies, protesters, street protests, civil unrest, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, United Nations, Ban Ki-moon


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