White House says monitoring Egypt situation closely

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:20am EST

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE Jan 26 (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it was keeping a close watch on protests in Egypt and reiterated that the United States supports Egyptians' universal right of assembly and speech.

Asked whether the United States still supports Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Egypt remains a "close and important ally."

"We are monitoring closely the situation in Egypt," he told reporters traveling with U.S. President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One.

(Reporting by Ross Colvin, editing by Alister Bull)

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