Monday, January 31, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

WASHINGTON - The U.S. appealed for an orderly transition to lasting democracy in Egypt even as escalating violence in the American ally threatened Mideast stability and put President Barack Obama in a diplomatic bind. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton refused to speculate on the future of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or his teetering government. But U.S. officials, she said, "obviously want to see people who are truly committed to democracy, not to imposing any ideology on Egyptians." The U.S. wants to see "real democracy" emerge in Egypt, Clinton said, "not a democracy for six months or a year and then evolving into essentially a military dictatorship or a so-called democracy that then leads to what we saw in Iran." Clinton, in interviews on the five Sunday morning TV shows, repeatedly stressed that Egypt's future lies in the hands of its people, hewing to the administration line of refusing to take sides publically in the upheaval. While there have been repeated calls for Egypt to move toward democracy, it was not clear what efforts the administration may be making behind the scenes to influence the situation. "There has to be a commitment by whoever is in the government that they will engage in a national dialogue with the people of Egypt, with the aim at taking actions that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people for more participation, for respect for human rights, for the universal human rights they are entitled to, for economic reforms that will give more opportunity," she told reporters traveling with her to Haiti on Sunday. - LOLITA C. BALDOR

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