‘Why does the U.S. Still Support Countries and Regimes… like Egypt?’ – Today’s Q for O’s WH”Today’s Q’s for O’s WH

Jan 28, 2011 4:16pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

MILLER: Robert, why does the U.S. still support countries and regimes   that we know do not respect human rights, like Egypt?

GIBBS:  Well, again, we have — we have documented, again, the concerns that some have had for quite some time. As is the case with a country like China, we have a whole host of bilateral issues that we deal with countries on — as we did in the recent trip.  There were economic, security and basic human rights issues that we discuss when the president meets with his counterparts. Our belief is, it is important to have those conversations very directly with those leaders.  If you walk away from the table of engagement, you can't deliver that message in a face-to-face manner.  And the president believes obviously that's tremendously important.

MILLER: You have talked about urging restraint.  Has that message been communicated from the United States directly to the Egyptian    military, to refrain from violence, or is it just from this podium?

GIBBS:  No, it has been communicated not just from this  podium, not just in the remarks of the secretary of State, but a levels within the Pentagon to the Egyptian military, from the State  Department, from the words and conversations that have been had by  Ambassador Scobey, all levels and — and also the words, most  importantly, of the president yesterday.

MILLER: One last question.  Do you believe that the time has passed now for Mubarak to make these changes, these political changes that you’re calling for?

GIBBS:  I — absolutely not.  I think — I think the people of Egypt want to see clearly and quickly legitimate steps taken toward concrete reforms. The time for that to happen has most certainly come.

-Sunlen Miller


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