CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused to bow to demands that he resign, after ordering troops and tanks into cities in an attempt to quell street protests against his 30-year rule.
“He (President Hosni Mubarak) pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise.”
“Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people and suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.”
“What’s needed now are concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people, a meaningful dialogue between the government and its citizens and a path of political change that leads to a future of greater freedom and greater opportunity and justice for the Egyptian people.”
“He (Mubarak) must seize this moment to make these reforms real and visible and to base them on the universal values that are the right of people in all countries.”
“We are working with our EU partners and other allies on the latest developments to deliver a clear coordinated message about our expectations of President Mubarak and in particular the need for him to take responsibility to deliver change. Peaceful reform not repression must be the way forward.”
“Egypt has to embark on a process of reconciliation and these vast groups of people need to be given a clear vision of the future that is there for them — jobs, opportunity, education.
“But we also see that fundamental rights is mobilizing people to go to the streets, for the right of expression and the right of elections.”
“I’m struck by the variety of age, of class, of gender, (of the protesters) it’s across the board, you can see it, you can see the variety of people there.
“It’s not, from my perception, religiously driven. This is not the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“The Americans can tolerate seeing bloodshed in Egypt but not see a regime fall in Egypt into the hands of the people,”
“It is crucial that action quickly follows words. Commitment to political and economic reforms goes in the right direction, but must be implemented quickly and consistently. The security forces should not use violence against peaceful protesters.”
“I reiterate my call on all parties to exercise restraint and calm and I urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all peaceful demonstrators from detention.”
“I also reiterate my call upon the Egyptian authorities to urgently establish a constructive and peaceful way to respond to the legitimate aspirations of Egyptian citizens for democratic and socioeconomic reforms.”
“No Arab or Muslim can tolerate any meddling in the security and stability of Arab and Muslim Egypt by those who infiltrated the people in the name of freedom of expression, exploiting it to inject their destructive hatred.”
“You can describe it as a demographic tsunami to the south of the Mediterranean that can only be met by sustained economic reforms.”
“It is now even more obvious that what Egypt needs is a political initiative that leads to an open and democratic presidential election later this year.”
“There is no question, a lot of changes need to take place.
“If this process of change is managed well — and that begins by those in government not being dismissive of the desire for change given the high degree of dissatisfaction with the status quo.”
Compiled by London World Desk