Cameron says now time to move to democracy in Egypt

British leaders led by David Cameron hailed the historic events unfolding in Egypt.

Updated: Feb 12, 2011, 21:49 PM IST

London: British leaders led by David
Cameron on Saturday hailed the historic events unfolding in Egypt,
with the Prime Minister describing the time as a "precious
moment of opportunity" for the country to move towards
"civilian and democratic rule".

The comments came after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as
Egypt`s president after 18 days of unrelenting protests by
Egyptians demanding a representative government.
Cameron said the UK was a friend of Egypt and stood
ready to "help in any way that we can".

He said "Egypt has a precious moment of opportunity to
move towards civilian and democratic rule".

International rights watchdog Amnesty International
observed a "day of solidarity" with the Egyptian people in
central London today.

Also, there were celebrations at the Egyptian embassy
in Mayfair and at the heart of the Arab community around
Edgware Road.

Speaking on the steps of the Downing Street, Cameron
said Egypt`s new government should start to put in place "the
building blocks of a truly open, free and democratic society".
Cameron added that what has happened today should only
be the first step and reminded the military establishment of
Egypt that it now has the responsibility of enabling the
people realise their wishes.

"Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the
wishes of the Egyptian people and, in particular, there really
must be a move to civilian and democratic rule as part of this
important transition to an open, democratic and free Egypt,"
he said.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the protesters had "won
a famous victory".

He offered his congratulations before adding: "Now the
task must be to create that democratic future that people have
today won".

Foreign Secretary William Hague called on Egyptians to
settle their differences peacefully.

"The Higher Council of the Military Forces has a
particular responsibility to implement the concrete and
irrevocable steps this transition requires and to prepare for
free and fair elections," he said.