Saudi Arabia threatens to prop up Mubarak: Report

Amid growing pressure on the embattled Egyptian president to quit office, Saudi Arabia has threatened to prop up Hosni Mubarak if the United States tries to force a swift change of regime in Egypt, the media reported.

London: Amid growing pressure on the
embattled Egyptian president to quit office, Saudi Arabia has
threatened to prop up Hosni Mubarak if the United States tries
to force a swift change of regime in Egypt, the media reported
on Thursday.

In a testy personal telephone call on January 29,
Saudi Arabia`s King Abdullah told US President Barack Obama
not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to
bankroll Egypt if the US withdrew its aid programme, worth USD
1.5 billion annually, The Times newspaper reported.

America`s closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the
Egyptian President must be allowed to stay on to oversee the
transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with
dignity.

"Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they
are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend
cast aside and humiliated," a senior source in the Saudi
capital told the newspaper.

Obama has spoken with the 86-year-old Saudi monarch
about the current situation in Egypt, where the massive
pro-democracy protests against Mubarak entered into its third
week with no resolution in sight.

"The President emphasised the importance of taking
immediate steps toward an orderly transition that is
meaningful, lasting, legitimate, and responsive to the
aspirations of the Egyptian people," the White House said in a
statement in Washington.

US has expressed its dissatisfaction over the steps
taken by the Egyptian government to meet the demands of the
pro-democracy protestors and warned that these protests are
going to grow bigger unless the Mubarak regime takes some
concrete steps.

"It is clear that the Egyptian government is going to
have to take some real concrete steps in order to meet the
threshold that the people of Egypt that they represent require
from their government," White House Press Secretary Robert
Gibbs said at his daily news conference in Washington.

"It is clear that the government has not
taken the necessary steps that the people of Egypt need to
see. That`s why more and more people come out to register
their grievances. But our notion of when the transition needed
to have started hasn’t changed," Gibbs told reporters.

He said what the people of Egypt seek in those
grievances "hasn’t changed". "What has to change is the
posture of the government in addressing what the people of
Egypt need to see," he said.

On Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden had called
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and had said that an
orderly transition must begin now, that it must produce
without delay immediate and irreversible progress.

"I think it is clear that what the government has thus
far put forward has yet to meet a minimum threshold for the
people of Egypt. That`s why many of you reported the crowds in
yesterday’s protests were bigger than even those on Friday,"
he said.

PTI

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