White House Ups Pressure on Mubarak, Calls for ‘Clear Timeline’ on Departure

By Dschabner

Feb 5, 2011 6:14pm

In a phone call with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, Vice President Biden called for President Hosni Mubarak to spell out when he intends to leave office.

In the strongest words to date, the White House said that during the phone call to Suleiman, Biden "stressed the need for a concrete reform agenda, a clear timeline, and immediate steps that demonstrate to the public and the opposition that the Egyptian government is committed to reform."

The calls for a "clear timeline" and "immediate steps" demonstrating a commitment to political reform are the latest ratcheting up of public rhetoric about President Obama's desire that Mubarak exit sooner rather than later.

First the administration called Mubarak an "ally" who needed to usher in reforms, then oficials began to talk about the need for an "orderly transition," later specified as needing to begin "now." In a then-private message to Mubarak, President Obama said the next government should not be headed by Mubarak or his son.

– Jake Tapper

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