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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Friday after 18 days of mass protests against his rule.

February 12, 2011 12:06 by

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Friday after 18 days of mass protests against his rule. Here is some reaction from around the world:


— U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the change of power in Egypt was a “pivotal” moment in history for that country and the Middle East. The transition in Egypt must be one of “irreversible” change, he said.

— President Barack Obama is to deliver a statement on Egypt at a time to be determined, the White House said.


— U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a “transparent, orderly and peaceful transition” in Egypt. Ban also said he wanted to see “free, fair and credible” elections.


— “I congratulate the great Egyptian nation for this victory and we share their happiness,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state television.

“We hope that the civil movement in Egypt can complete its victory through resistance and by a strong will so that it can successfully reach all its demands.”

“It is expected that at this sensitive time, the Egyptian army which has a shining record in fighting oppression and the aggressions of the Zionist regime, carries out its historical duty by accompanying, supporting and listening to demands of its great nation until their goals are achieved.”


— “We hope the latest developments will help restore stability and normal functioning of all power structures. We hope that not only the government but also the opposition will show willingness to stabilise the situation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.


— “It’s too early to foresee how (the resignation) will affect things,” a senior Israeli official said. “We hope that the change to democracy in Egypt will happen without violence and that the peace accord will remain.”


— “The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is the beginning of the victory of the Egyptian revolution,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

“Such a victory was the result of the sacrifices and the steadfastness of the Egyptian people,” he said.

“We call upon the new Egyptian leadership to take an immediate decision to lift the blockade of Gaza and open Rafah (border) crossing permanently to allow people’s free movement and in order for the reconstruction process of Gaza to begin,” Abu Zuhri said.


— “The EU respects President Mubarak’s decision today. By standing down, he has listened to the voices of the Egyptian people and has opened the way to faster and deeper reforms,” EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said.

“It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people.”

“The future of Egypt rightly remains in the hands of the Egyptian people. The EU stands ready to help in any way it can.”


— “France ardently hopes the new Egyptian authorities will take steps that lead to establishment of democratic institutions through free and transparent elections,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy described Mubarak’s decision to quit as “courageous and necessary” at a “historic moment” for Egypt after weeks of protest and demand for change.

“France urges the Egyptian authorities to proceed as fast as feasible with the reforms needed to turn Egypt into a free and pluralist society.”


— “Egypt now has a really precious moment of opportunity to have a government that can bring the country together. As a friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people we stand ready to help in any way we can,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“What has happened today should only be the first step. Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the wishes of the Egyptian people and in particular there really must be a move to civilian and democratic rule as part of this important transition to an open, democratic and free Egypt,” he added.


— “Today is a day of great joy,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference. “We are all witness to an historic change. I share the joy of the people of Egypt, with the millions of people on the streets of Egypt.”#


— “We welcome the decision of President Mubarak to step down in deference to the wishes of the people of Egypt. We also welcome the commitment of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to ensure a peaceful transition of power in a timebound manner to establish and open and democratic framework of governance,” Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said.


— “Mubarak’s exit will facilitate a quicker transition to democracy and thus allow the people of Egypt to fulfill their legitimate aspirations,” Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said.


— “I look forward to the future to build a national consensus in the coming period. There is a big chance now and a window has opened after this white revolution and after the president’s concession,” the Egyptian secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, told Al Arabiya television.

Asked if he was interested in being president, he said: “This is not the time to talk about that … As an Egyptian citizen, I am proud to serve my country with all the others at this stage, to build a consensus of opinion.”


— Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq told Reuters: “I say this is the destiny of anyone who stands against the will of his people. We hope that the Egyptian people ensure a smooth, peaceful and organised transfer of power in this critical time.”


— “The UAE, which has closely monitored developments in Egypt, confirms its confidence in the ability of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in running the country’s affairs in these delicate circumstances in such a way that would realise aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people,” the statement from the Emirates News Agency said.


— “This is a positive, important step towards the Egyptian people’s aspirations of achieving democracy and reform and a life of dignity,” said a statement from the Emir’s royal council said.

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