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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'Hem and Haw:' Clinton 'We're not advocating any specific outcome' in Egypt crisis

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Clinton: 'We're not advocating any specific outcome' in Egypt crisis

By Bridget Johnson and Michael O'Brien CNN- 01/30/11
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The Obama administration struggled to maintain a careful balance on its response to the crisis in Egypt on Sunday, which continued to spiral out of control as armed gangs broke hundreds of militants out of Egyptian jails and the U.S. Embassy warned citizens to consider leaving the country as soon as possible.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the rounds on all five Sunday shows, advocating that the people's voice be heard while taking care not to call for a departure of President Hosni Mubarak.

The steps Mubarak has taken to address his people's grievances against the government haven't been enough, Clinton said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I don't think anyone is satisfied, least of all the Egyptian people," Clinton said.



But when asked on CNN's "State of the Union" whether the U.S. was taking the side of government or the protesters, Clinton stressed that the U.S. had been "on the side of the people" as it had been for more than 30 years of cooperation with Cairo while advocating greater democratic and civil rights.

"We're not advocating any specific outcome," she said.

She said that the U.S. is trying to "keep on the message we've been on, convey it publicly and privately, and stand ready to help."
"We do not want to send any message about backing forward or backing back," Clinton said.

Clinton said that the U.S. wanted to see the people be able to express their voices in "peaceful protest ... and then a process of national dialogue that will lead to the changes the Egyptian people seek and deserve."

She cautioned that such changes will take time, but urged Mubarak to take concrete steps and for his new government officials to "put real life into what President Mubarak said" in his address to the nation Friday evening.

Mubarak requested the resignation of his government on Friday, and announced the appointment of a new vice president, a former intelligence chief who's regarded as a Mubarak loyalist.

On Fox, Clinton said that was a first step. "But there's a long way to go."

"We have been very clear that we want to see a transition to democracy, and we want to see the kind of steps taken that will bring that about. But we also want to see an orderly transition," she said. 


"There are many, many steps along the journey that has been started by the Egyptian people themselves."

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