Washington, Feb 12 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Friday said the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reflected the people’s “hunger for change” and urged the country’s military to ensure a transition to “genuine democracy”.
In a six-minute televised speech, Obama said what is happening in Egypt is “a moment of history”.
“The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same,” he said.
According to Xinhua, Obama said President Mubarak, by stepping down, responded to the Egyptian people’s “hunger for change”.
He said the Egyptian military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker and will now have to ensure “a transition that is credible in eyes of Egyptian people”.
“Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day,” Obama said.
Obama called for protecting the rights of Egyptian people, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and laying out a clear path to a fair and free election.
He vowed that the US will continue to be a partner of Egypt and stand ready to provide assistance.
“This is not the end of Egypt’s transition. It’s a beginning,” Obama said. “I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead, and many questions remain unanswered.”
“I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks,” he added.
“There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments,” Obama said.
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced earlier Friday that Mubarak had stepped down and handed power to the military, sparking widespread celebrations on the streets of Cairo and other countries, DPA reported.