Clinton: U.S. Wants Orderly but Expeditious Transition in Egypt

Middle East faces a 'perfect storm' of unrest, regional leaders must quickly enact real democratic reforms or risk even greater instability, Clinton says.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that Egypt's political transition should take place "as orderly but as expeditiously as possible" to give enough time for democratic elections to be prepared.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

"President Mubarak has announced he will not stand for reelection nor will his son ... He has given a clear message to his government to lead and support this process of transition," Clinton told a Munich security conference.

"That is what the government has said it is trying to do, that is what we are supporting, and hope to see it move as orderly but as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances."

Clinton warned that the Middle East faces a "perfect storm" of unrest and regional leaders must quickly enact real democratic reforms or risk even greater instability.

"The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends," Clinton said. "This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable."

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden spoke Saturday with his Egyptian counterpart, newly-appointed Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman, about progress in beginning credible, inclusive negotiations for Egypt’s transition to a democratic government.

Biden stressed the need for a concrete reform agenda and a clear timeline which would address the aspirations of the Egyptian people in his conversation with Suleiman.