Entries in Tunisia (2)


Biden: US Has 'Largely Spoken with One Voice' on Egypt

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Vice President Joe Biden called President Hosni Mubarak’s departure from the Egyptian government on Friday “a pivotal moment in history -- it’s a pivotal moment not only in Mideast history but in history, I would argue.”

The vice president was speaking before a crowd of students at the University of Louisville.

“You may remember that all this began when a fruit vendor in Tunisia,” -- protesting that nation’s “corrupt government and stagnant economy -- literally set himself on fire,” the vice president said, “and in doing so ignited the passions of millions and millions of people throughout that region. Word spread across national boundaries and movements emerged, led by people no older than some of the students in this room, using some of the same social media tools that the students in this room, many of you, use.”

He said “what is at stake in Egypt and across the Mideast is not just about Egypt alone. It will not just touch Egypt.”

Biden reiterated the administration’s “set of core principles:” the unacceptability of “violence and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators;” that the “universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected and their aspirations must be met;” and that “the transition taking place must be an irreversible change on a negotiated path towards democracy.”

“Even in this contentious political climate in which we work, on this issue, the United States has largely spoken with one voice, Democrats and Republicans alike,” Biden said. “This unity has been important and it will be even more important in the delicate and fateful days ahead.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


CIA Official: White House Was Warned About Danger in Egypt

Photo Courtesy - -- A CIA official testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Thursday that President Barack Obama and his top aides had been warned that instability in Egypt could lead to larger issues for the country of over 80 million.

Stephanie O'Sullivan, the CIA's associate deputy director, said, "We have warned of instability. We didn't know what the triggering mechanism would be for that. And that happened at the end of the last year," referring to the uprisings in Tunisia.

However, the White House refuted those statements. An official told ABC News, “Did we think after the protests in Tunisia started in December that, analytically, there was the potential for unrest in other countries, that it could spread to other regions? Absolutely.” But the official added that almost no one could have predicted protests involving over 100,000 people in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

President Obama has not directly asked Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign, but he has asked him to discourage violence amidst the protests. Wednesday and Thursday, there were multiple reports of not just citizen protesters being injured, but journalists being threatened and detained, as well.

Mubarak said in a global exclusive Thursday with ABC News correspondent Christiane Amanpour that he intends to remain in office, saying, "If I resign today there will be chaos."

"I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other," Mubarak said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio