February 5, 2011 / 6:04 PM / 9 years ago

Gamal Mubarak resignation "positive step": official

Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and head of the higher political committee of the National Democratic Party (NDP), prays at Anwar El Sadat's tomb during Sadat's 29th death anniversary in Cairo October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The resignation of Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak, from the leadership of Egypt’s ruling party on Saturday was a “positive step” and the United States looks forward to additional steps, an Obama administration official said.

The United States has urged its long-time ally Egypt to immediately begin an orderly transition to democracy after days of massive street protests to end President Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

“We view this as a positive step toward the political change that will be necessary, and look forward to additional steps,” the administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said regarding Gamal Mubarak’s departure from the ruling party leadership.

President Barack Obama said on Friday the era of suppressing political dissent in Egypt was over, and he hoped that President Mubarak would make “the right decision.”

“As the president has repeatedly said, Egyptians will be the ones that decide how this transition occurs. We welcome any step that provides credibility to that process,” White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said on Saturday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at a security conference in Munich, said it was important to support the transition process now being led by Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s long-time intelligence chief.

Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Will Dunham

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