Future of Egypt is in the hands of Egyptians

Will Mubarak do something mature?

Questions:

1. Do you think there is something the West (especially the US, but perhaps also the EU) can do to influence somehow the situation?

2. Shouldn’t we just say to Mubarak it is time to step down or at least to announce some plan to transition? Because it seems Mubarak’s last option how to suppress the protests is using of violence against the demonstrators.

Answers:

Wayne White, Policy Expert, Washington’s Middle East Policy Council

1. Not really. In fact, there has been far too much chit-chat about what the US should be doing. 99% of this is in the hands of the Egyptians now.

I fear at this point that the longer Mubarak hangs on, the more this mess will simply drag on with more & more destruction. What comes after him is big unknown, but perhaps if Mubarak, his family & top cronies don’t pull out, there will be even less for a successor regime to work with

2. Mubarak didn’t listen to us for decades about reform & he wouldn’t listen now. In fact, if the US suddenly announced he should go, we would, in effect, be taking responsibility for increased unrest after that announcement whether he leaves or not because it would energize the “street.”

The most mature thing Mubarak could do now is summon al-Baradei as quietly as possible, get him to agree to take over as the head of an interim ruling council pending elections, make a speech announcing that, but pointing out in his speech, as with many other countries, how serious the problems are that Egypt faces, pointing out that no Egyptian should expect quick fixes for any of them after he is gone, and leave the country along with his top cronies like Tantawi. Suleiman could be left as VP I suppose, but he should make clear that even that would be subject to the later vote of the people & was only done in an attempt to help restore order.

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