Cables show US changed tack on Egypt: Report

Egypt is one of the most important US allies in the Arab world.

Cairo: The New York Times is reporting that cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal how the United States changed the way it dealt with Egypt after President Barack Obama came to power.

It says relations improved between the two allies, with one official writing in a cable that the US avoided "the public confrontations that had become routine" during the Bush administration.

Egypt is one of the most important US allies in the Arab world but as the Mideast country sees the biggest anti-government protests in years, inspired by the popular revolt in Tunisia, the public support of the US has become less assured.

In an interview broadcast live on YouTube on Thursday, Obama said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been "an ally of ours on a lot of critical issues”.

But Obama added: "I`ve always said to him that making sure that they`re moving forward on reform, political reform and economic reform, is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt."

The New York Times also reported on Friday that US diplomats repeatedly raised concerns with Egyptian officials about jailed dissidents and bloggers and followed reports of torture by police.

Bureau Report