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US pulls up Suleiman for comments on Egypt`s democracy

US has termed as "unhelpful" comments by Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman that Cairo was not yet ready for democracy and it was not the opportune moment to lift the 30-year-old emergency laws.



Washington: US has termed as "unhelpful"
comments by Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman that Cairo
was not yet ready for democracy and it was not the opportune
moment to lift the 30-year-old emergency laws.

"Vice President Suleiman made some particularly
unhelpful comments about Egypt not being ready for democracy,
about not seeing a lift of the emergency law.

"I don`t think that in any way squares with what those
seeking greater opportunity and freedom think is a timetable
for progress," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told
reporters at his daily news conference.

Gibbs was responding to question on the statement
made by Suleiman a day earlier wherein he asserted that there
was no need for the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, to
resign and that he does not think that it was time to lift the
30-year-old emergency law and that Egypt was not yet ready for
democracy.

"The notion that Egypt isn`t ready for democracy I
think runs quite counter to what we see happening in Tahrir
Square and on the streets in cities throughout the country.

"It`s clear that statements like that are not going
to be met with any agreement by the people of Egypt because
they don`t address the very legitimate grievances that we`ve
seen expressed as a result of these protests," he said.

Gibbs asserted that the pace and scope of progress
has to be determined by the people of the country and not the
United States.

"I think that`s going to be determined by the
Egyptian people. Whether or not the government is taking those
concrete steps can`t be arbitrated by us. We can`t do
play-by-play on each and every step that they take. That`s
going to be determined by the reaction in Cairo and throughout
Egypt by the people of Egypt," he said.

"We have a stake in stability in Egypt, in regional
stability. I think that`s been a cornerstone of what we`ve
seen over the past three decades.

"As I said here on Friday, and I think as you`ve heard
the President say, the threat of instability -- and you see
this again today with the swelling crowds -- is in not making
that progress, and in not letting the people in Egypt see that
the steps that are being taken along that process are real,
it`s something that they can feel.

"It`s something that will end in free and fair
elections based on a discussion that is had with a broad range
of Egyptian society," Gibbs said.

The Obama Administration, he said, wants a genuine and
real process that leads to free and fair elections, a process
that takes place without delay and produces immediate and
irreversible results: progress for the people in Egypt.

"I think there`s a series of things that they have
to do along the way. The dialogue has to be real in order to
produce that real change. I think first and foremost, the
government has got to stop arresting protesters and
journalists; harassment, beatings, detentions of reporters, of
activists, of those involved in civil society," he added.

PTI

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