February 11th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

Obama praises Egyptian revolution

CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - Top American officials welcomed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to step down Friday but urged all sides in Egypt's rapidly unfolding political drama to ensure a peaceful transition to democracy.

"The people of Egypt have spoken," President Barack Obama said at the White House. "Their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same."

Obama said the sudden conclusion to Mubarak's three-decade rule was not "the end of Egypt's transition. It's a beginning."

The U.S. president warned that there are "tough days ahead" for Egypt but declared his confidence in the ability of the Egyptian people to "find the answers" they are seeking "peacefully, constructively and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks."

"Nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day," he declared, promising that his administration is ready to provide assistance to America's longtime Middle Eastern ally.

Obama praised the Egyptian military for acting responsibly over the past three weeks and urged it to help ensure a credible transition that, among other things, ends emergency rule, ensures the enactment of key legal reforms and brings "all of Egypt's voices to the table."

"The wheel of history turned at a blinding pace" the past few weeks and disproved the notion that "justice is gained by violence," Obama concluded. "In Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence - not terrorism, not mindless killing ... that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East • Raw Politics
February 11th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
February 11th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #753 'Wake me when the revolution is over'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is certainly worried about Egypt, and probably appreciates my thoughts on the matter. Just saying.

Dear Mr. President,

With revolutions and cooking steaks, the tricky part is knowing just when to say, “We’re done!” I’m watching that in Egypt right now, as are you. I see those massive throngs of people demanding the departure of President Mubarak, and I understand their frustration with his latest speech.

Taken together with the comments of other government types, the message was an “I’m still in, but I’m out,” kind of deal. It’s like when a company let’s some mid-level boss’s contract expire, but he’s still got three weeks to hang around before the final day. No one in the office knows quite how to treat him or whether they should listen to anything he has to say.

February 11th, 2011
02:15 AM ET
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