February 4th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Obama to Mubarak: Listen to Egyptian people

CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Friday that talks between the Egyptian government and its political opponents were in the initial stages, but warned that the mere "pretense of reform" would not be enough to resolve that country's deepening crisis.

The transition of power "must begin now" and lead to "free and fair elections," he declared. Negotiations must "include a broad representation of the Egyptian opposition," he told reporters.

Asked if embattled President Hosni Mubarak needs to step down now - as opposed to waiting for a successor to be chosen in Egypt's September elections - Obama said Mubarak needs to consult with advisers and listen to what's "being voiced by the Egyptian people."

The Egyptian leader is "proud" but also a "patriot," Obama said. Mubarak needs to make a judgment about his legacy and the best "pathway forward." Violence and repression have no role in the "orderly transition process," he added. "The whole world is watching."

Obama noted he has had two conversations with Mubarak since the crisis began.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Scott Holston

    Obama should have no public opinion as to whether Mubarak should step down or not. Who is he? Maybe he should listen to the American people and step down himself!

    February 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  2. vidtruth

    This happens to be one of the most hypocritical statements in world history!

    February 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  3. Annie Kate

    I don't think Mubarak will be able to stay in office for 7 more months. The anti-Mubarak crowd and the pro-Mubarak crowd need to cooperate together enough to identify an acceptable temporary transition government until voting can occur. Mubarak should also order his supporters to not use violence and he should let the press report per usual and not cut off broadcasts. Cutting off video reporting makes one nervous that something like Tienanmen Square is going to happen and no one wants to see that. The US should be very careful about any involvement in Egypt until this is over so the new government is clearly that of Egyptian choosing and not one that the US can be accused of meddling in. Having seen Mubarak's tactics in this demonstration – his answer of violence against non-violence – shows that Mubarak needs to step down and leave. I hope he is enough of a patriot to do so.

    February 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  4. Laila Omar

    Dear Anderson,

    I want to help you get in with the protestors. Arabic words that mean much to them: "Shway Shway" means "easy easy". AND "Hus bee Allah wa ya seer lee ba leek" Allah is SUfficient for me and make easy for me." Helping them with being calm "Shway Shway" makes it good to know you are reporting for the sake of Muslim Americans who are praying for their freedom. Please get word to Anderson So we as Muslim Americans can help this be peaceful for reporters and freedom liberation. They have big heart, caring, loving and emotional. Please be safe and "Allah Hu Al Lam" "Allah Knows Best".

    February 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm |