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Friday
Jan282011

US Turns Up Pressure on Egyptian Gov't, Continues to Walk Fine Line

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CAIRO) -- The White House has intensified pressure on Egypt as violence in the streets continues to escalate. Thousands took to the streets Friday to demand the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, raising concerns in the United States about the stability of a government that has long been a close U.S. ally.

White House officials said President Obama is closely monitoring developments in the region. He has requested multiple briefings each day on the situation in the Middle East and on Friday he received a memo updating him on the latest in Egypt from National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, sources said.

"We call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a Friday press conference. “At the same time, protestors should also refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully.”

“These protests underscore that there are deep grievances within Egyptian society," Clinton said. "The Egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away.”

Protests have spread through Arab countries in recent weeks, starting with street demonstrations in Tunisia which forced its long-time president to flee. Since then, protests have erupted in Egypt and Yemen, all U.S. allies.

So far, the United States has attempted to walk a fine line in dealing with the protests in Egypt. The administration has tried to support the right of the demonstrators to gather and protests, but does not want to see Mubarak, an important ally in the region, fall and so they have urged him in public and in private to reform before it is too late.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio