Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: President Mubarak must stay for now, U.S. envoy says

February 5, 2011 | 10:20 am

Wisner Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must stay in power for now to steer the political transition, President Obama's special envoy for Egypt told reporters Saturday.

"We need to get a national consensus around the preconditions for the next step forward. The president must stay in office to steer those changes," Frank Wisner told a security conference in Munich, Germany, during a video conference from Washington, Reuters reported.

Wisner, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt and India who is seen as having a good relationship with the Mubarak regime, was dispatched to Cairo earlier this week by Obama to meet with Egyptian leaders.

"There is a chance to move forward," Wisner told the security conference Saturday. "It's fragile, it's the first stage, things could go wrong. But the direction is promising,"

--  Molly Hennessy-Fiske 

Photo: Frank Wisner, a U.S. special envoy to Egypt and former ambassador to Egypt who has good relations with the Mubarak regime, said Saturday that Mubarak must stay in power to ensure a smooth transition. Credit: Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA