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Tuesday
Feb012011

Obama to Egyptian Protestors: 'We Hear Your Voices'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio (WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Tuesday told the embattled President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt that the U.S. would stand by his country, but that change had to happen "and it must happen now."

In remarks made at the White House, just hours after Mubarak announced he would not seek election to another term, Obama praised the peaceful demonstrators in Egypt, calling them an "inspiration to people around the world."

"To the people of Egypt, particularly the young people of Egypt, I want to be clear," Obama said Tuesday evening. "We hear your voices."

The White House carefully avoided a firm position on the protests in Egypt for the first several days of demonstrations. But Tuesday it became clear that the president supported a new regime in Egypt.

"An orderly transition must be meaningful," he said. "It must be peaceful and it must happen now."

According to a White House official, Obama spoke to Murabak for about 30 minutes Tuesday. Obama said during his public remarks that Mubarak knew stepping aside after the end of his term was the right thing for his country.

"He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place," he said.

But Mubarak's announcement that he will stay through his term did little to appease protesters calling for his immediate removal. A stoic Mubarak announced that he will ask the new government to speed up elections, which are scheduled to be held in September. He vowed to honor people's demands, to protect the citizens honestly, and end corruption.

Crowds in Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, in Cairo cheered loudly as Mubarak made his announcement. But while the mood was jubilant, Mubarak's message wasn't enough for many. Protestors shouted, "Go now! Go! Go!" and, "We will not go. You go, Mubarak."

Demonstrators, now in their eighth straight day of protests, vowed to stay in the square until Mubarak leaves office.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio