A CBS News report today (Saturday) stated that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at an international security conference in Munich, signalled that U.S. support has swung behind a transition headed by the recently-named vice president, Omar Suleiman.
“President Mubarak has announced he will not stand for re-election, nor will his son,” Clinton said. “He has given a clear message to his government to lead and support this process of transition. That is what the government has said it is trying to do, that is what we are supporting, and hope to see it move as orderly but as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”
The position adopted by the U.S. Administration is one that we should support. It is perfectly clear that President Mubarak cannot remain in power. He too recognizes that. Nevertheless, a violent putsch is not only not in the interests of Egypt and its neighbours, but would also threaten the stability of the entire region.
It is to be hoped that the months ahead will allow the secular opposition parties in Egypt to get organized in a way that will ensure that the Muslim Brotherhood do not represent an overly significant element in any future parliament. That having been said, any future Egyptian government is almost certainly going to be less sympathetic towards Israel than that headed by Hosni Mubarak.