US, high-level Egyptian officials mulling interim govt headed by VP Omar Suleiman

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States is reportedly discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and hand power to a military-backed interim government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman.

According to the New York Times, officials from both the governments have proposed a plan in which Suleiman, backed by Egyptian Defence Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi and Army Chief Lieutenant General Sami Enan would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.

The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Senior Obama administration officials said that the proposal was one of several options under discussion with high-level Egyptian officials around Mubarak.

A spokesman for the US National Security Council said that it was “time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations”.

“We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people,” Tommy Vietor said.

On the other hand, American and Egyptian officials also said that Mubarak is determined to stay until the election in September.

His backers have also forcibly pushed back against what they viewed as American interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.

“What they’re asking cannot be done. That’s my technical answer. My political answer is they should mind their own business,” one Egyptian official said.

The crisis in Egypt has intensified in recent days as supporters of Mubarak have begun attacking protesters in Tahrir Square.

The days of unrest have left at least 300 people dead. (ANI)

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