Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Evolving Situation In Egypt And President Mubarak’s Statement

“President Mubarak’s decision to stand down from future leadership of the government is welcome, but his continued role in Egypt’s transition is unrealistic.  The Egyptian people, long denied the chance to freely and fairly choose their leaders, today are voting with their feet, their courage and their voices.  Their overwhelmingly nonviolent and steady show of strength has conveyed confidence and won the empathy of people of goodwill across the globe.  They are fed up with one-party rule, a repressive police force and a corrupt and stagnant economy.  They have the right, as do all people, to decide who their leaders should be, and the sooner that process begins the better.  The current government has no credibility to oversee that process.

“The United States has much at stake in Egypt’s future and in our relationships with the people and the governments throughout the Muslim world.  The welcome restraint and professionalism shown by the Egyptian Army so far is a testament to the long relationship between our two countries.  But we should do what we can to support a transition to democracy including, if it becomes necessary, withholding aid to the government.”

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