The government of Hosni Mubarak is rejecting Western interference in the political affairs of Egypt as the foreign ministry on Wednesday rejected calls from Western powers for an immediate start to negotiation for a political transition.
In an apparent face saving effort and ‘hold my pride’ stance to shove off shame in the face of the on-going uprising the ministry released a statement Wednesday misinterpreting western voice as inciting and fuelling the crisis the more.
Already, the real mother of the uprising has been slated for this Friday as human right activists, workers Unions and members of the public have been advised to converge at the presidential palace in Cairo.
Already the Friday march has been dubbed “The Friday of Departure” which has been aimed at pushing Mr Mubarak to leave office immediately.
As a wake up action to avoid the Friday protest escalating to a fully blown uprising, thousands of foreigners are scrambling for flights out of Cairo.
President Mubarak’s announcement that he would not step down before the end of his term has created so much fear as the protesters are desperate to see him out as soon as possible..
The United States says an evacuation of nonessential U.S. government workers and their families is under way. Also, the State Department released a statement Tuesday saying about 1,600 U.S. citizens and their family members had been evacuated in an operation that began Monday.
Britain announced Wednesday that it is sending a chartered aircraft to Cairo to bring back British citizens who wish to leave.
Already the scramble for flight has developed to a major chaos.
The head of a charter plane service says efforts to evacuate foreigners are being hampered by a upsurging of passengers causing a major chaotic scene at Cairo’s airport.
Air Partner chief executive Mark Briffa says the airport is in a state of “pandemonium” because of the huge influx of people and planes shortages.
On Tuesday, Germany announced it had extended a travel warning to all of Egypt, including the popular Red Sea resorts. Thousands of tourists from Germany, Britain and France travel to Egypt each year.
Last weekend, the Nigerian government said it was sending an aircraft to airlift all government officials in Egypt.
In order to avoid further bloodshed and bring the one week long protest to an end, a number of world powers have brokered a peace deal, urging Egypt current leadership to step up its timetable for a political transition, after President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday that he would not seek another term in office amid mass demonstrations demanding that he step down immediately.
Senator Kerry called on the t Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to respond to the concerns of his people and their issues, days after anti-government protests rocked the country.
“The key here is for President Mubarak to respond to the needs of his people in a way that is more directly connected to their frustrations,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told The Associated Press Saturday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
American Congressman, Senator John Kerry last weekend had called President Hosni Mubarak to respond to the concerns of his people and their issues adding: “The key here is for President Mubarak to respond to the needs of his people in a way that is more directly connected to their frustrations,”
Kerry, the chairman of the America’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee told The Associated Press Saturday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
“I think he’s got to speak more to the real issues that people feel,” Kerry added.
“Dismissing the government doesn’t speak to some of those challenges”, he said.
Asked if Mubarak should step down in a bid to calm the growing protests, Kerry said it
was beyond his jurisdiction to conclude.
On Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Mr. Mubarak to respond quickly to anti-government protesters seeking the transition. The EU issued a statement calling on Egypt to begin an “orderly transition” with reforms that include “free and fair elections.”
U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Mr. Mubarak recognizes that the “status quo is not sustainable.” Mr. Obama also said he had told the Egyptian president that an orderly transition “must be peaceful and must begin now.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday he wishes to see a transition of power in Egypt happen “without delay” and “without violence.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Egypt’s orderly transition is “urgent” but must also be credible. In a Wednesday speech to Parliament, he said Britain stands with those in Egypt who want freedom and democracy.
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday the Egyptian people do not trust the country’s current administration. He said it would be best for Egypt to allow an interim administration to carry the country to democracy. Separately, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said it was important for Egypt to keep the transition period short.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced concern about Egypt’s future relations with his country. A Wednesday statement from his office says Mr. Netanyahu told diplomats that the international community must insist that any Egyptian government maintains peace with Israel.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said developments in Egypt have opened the way for a new political beginning.
Violence escalated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Wednesday as supporters of embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak clashed with protesters who have been calling for the president to step down.
Reporters at the scene say Egyptian troops have fired warning shots in a bid to end the clashes that have left several people trampled and bleeding.
Opponents and supporters of Mr. Mubarak fought with stones, fists and clubs while people on camels and horses charged through the crowds.
Army vehicles were seen trying to separate the clashing demonstrators.
Anti-government protesters are blaming undercover police for the clashes. Pro-democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC Wednesday that the government is using “scare tactics” and he feared the clashes would turn into a “bloodbath.”
However, state television is reporting that the Interior Ministry denies plainclothes police officers were involved in the violence.
Opposition groups, including the country’s powerful but officially banned Muslim Brotherhood, have refused to negotiate with the government before Mr. Mubarak leaves office.
They have called for widespread demonstrations on Friday to press for Mr. Mubarak’s departure.
Mr. Mubarak announced late Tuesday he will not seek reelection in September, but he vowed to serve out his term until then.
He spoke at the end of a day when an estimated 250,000 people flooded Tahrir Square to demand his resignation. Anti-Mubarak protesters also rallied in other major Egyptian cities.
ElBaradei told the U.S. television network CNN that Mr. Mubarak’s decision to remain in power will extend Egypt’s “agony” until presidential elections planned for September. He called the move an “act of deception” from someone who “does not want to let go.”
Egypt’s military urged demonstrators Wednesday to return to their normal lives, saying their message has been heard and their demands have become known.
Internet service began returning to the country Wednesday after days of an unprecedented cutoff.
The 82-year-old Mr. Mubarak has been president of Egypt for nearly 30 years.
Story Sources and links: AFP, AP, Reuters