Feb 10, 2011

World reacts to Mubarak's non-resignation

Egyptian leader Mubarak just threw fuel on the fire by announcing that he will not step down...

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday said he was not stepping down, although he said he had transferred power to his vice president.
Below is reaction from analysts, economists and officials.
FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY: I hope with all my heart for Egypt's nascent democracy that they take time to create the structures and principles that will help them find the path to democracy and not another form of dictatorship, religious dictatorship, like what happened in Iran.EGYPT OPPOSITION LEADER MOHAMED ELBARADEI, ON TWITTER: Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now.

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE, ON BBC TELEVISION: We are studying very closely what the president and vice president of Egypt have said. It is not immediately clear what powers are being handed over and what the full implications are. We think the solution to this has to be owned by the Egyptian people themselves. All we want in the United Kingdom is for them to be able to settle their own differences in a peaceful and democratic way. And that is why we have called from the beginning of this crisis for an urgent but orderly transition to a more broadly based government in Egypt, and in the meantime we look to the Egyptian authorities to protect the right to peaceful protest.
Timeline of recent Mideast unrest
BRIAN KATULIS, MIDDLE EAST EXPERT AT CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS IN WASHINGTON AND INFORMAL ADVISER TO WHITE HOUSE: The essential question right now is what happens on the streets and how the military will handle that.
It seems to me the army is sending different signals. Earlier today it was reported that they had senior officials say to demonstrators all of your demands will be fully met. That clearly was not the case if you listen to Mubarak's and Suleiman's speeches. That indicates to me some possibilities for internal divisions.
The speeches tonight are not intended to bring an end to the crisis in a peaceful way but to inflame the situation so there is justification for the imposition of direct military rule. They are risking not only the coherence of the military but even indeed, and I use this term with advisement here, civil war.ROBERT SPRINGBORG, PROFESSOR OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS AT THE U.S. NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL: It's an enormously provocative step. There are desperate men, willing to gamble the fate of the nation for their own personal interest. It's a very sad historic moment for Egypt.
I think it needs to be made perfectly clear (by outside powers) that Mubarak and his regime are forfeiting Egypt's future. Egypt is in an economic crisis. It is going to have to be bailed out and the short answer to what they are doing now is that it will not be bailed out with anything like a military regime in place that is associated with Mubarak, Omar Suleiman and these people who are part of this regime.
ANTHONY CORDESMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The truth is that even the senior military now at the top of the power structure under Mubarak almost certainly have no clear idea of what happens next, and it will be days before anyone knows how well the transition will function, who goes and who stays, and how stable the result really is.
STEPHEN GRAND, MIDDLE EAST EXPERT, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION IN WASHINGTON: It was quite surreal. He's a stubborn old man who refused to see the writing on the wall. I happen to believe the demonstrations will continue, people will continue to push for his ouster and eventually will succeed.
ROSEMARY HOLLIS, PROFESSOR OF MIDDLE EAST POLICY STUDIES, CITY UNVERSITY LONDON: This is simply not enough. A critical turning point was reached in the last two days and I don't see Mubarak can hang on without there being serious trouble now. The demonstrators are very disappointed and there will be violence.
JOHN SFAKIANAKIS, ECONOMIST, BANQUE SAUDI FRANSI: Markets are going to see this and run away.
It just makes it more confusing and unpredictable than ever before. Unpredictability is the thing foreign investors hate, along with political instability, and this is really the epitome of both of these elements.
I think international investors will brace for the worst, because they will now begin to expect a severe deterioration of the political situation, which means the currency is going get pounded, the stock market will get pounded, and they will leave Egypt en masse.
There seems to be a gap between what society wants and what the president is delivering, and the two together are a destructive mix, and investors would not want to see nor participate in a country that has this.
At this point I don't think it will suffice. He still seems to think he is the top patriarch and custodian of the Egyptian people. He doesn't realize that there is a genuine act of resistance taking place.
MATT SMITH, ANALYST, SUMMIT ENERGY, LOUISVILLE, KY: We're putting a premium back on oilprices because of continued uncertainty in Egypt. Many people expected Mubarak to resign and he didn't.
RICHARD ILCZYSZYN, SENIOR MARKET STRATEGIST AT LIND-WALDOCK IN CHICAGO: It was a bit of a surprise for us and the market. Oil markets are going to respond to the upside. It is now a lingering debate. Any instability in the Middle East means higher prices in oil.
BILL O'GRADY, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CONFLUENCE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Oil and equities market are choppy after the non-announcement by President Mubarak. We don't know what to do with this announcement. I think we may be on the cusp of a coup d'etat since the military and the civilians are not on the same page as the government.
The younger military really want to see this guy go and they are allied with the protesters. The older military don't want to give up power just yet and want to play a role in the orderly transition of power. This is playing out a lot like the situation with Anwar Sadat.
The great fear of the oil market is that violence and protests which seem likely to intensify after the speech may be transferred to other parts of the oil rich Middle East."PETER BEUTEL, PRESIDENT, CAMERON HANOVER, NEW CANAAN, CONNECTICUT: His speech did not do anything to assuage those who are in opposition to him. Analysts expect the protests to continue.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CO-CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT PACIFIC INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CO.: Given the intense disappointment with the speech in Egypt, the country has entered this evening an ominous period of extreme tension and danger that can only be resolved by credible regime change that the majority of Egyptians can buy into."

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