CAIRO (Reuters) - President Hosni Mubarak said he will step down at the end of his term in September, angering many Egyptians who want an immediate end to his 30-year rule.
Following is reaction from around the world:
“What is clear and what I indicated tonight (Tuesday) to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now.
“To the people of Egypt, particularly the young people of Egypt, I want to be clear: We hear your voices. I have an unyielding belief that you will determine your own destiny and seize the promise of a better future for your children and your grandchildren.”
STATEMENT FROM OFFICE OF FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY:
“After President Mubarak’s speech, the president (Sarkozy) reiterates his wish to see a concrete transition process start without delay in response to a desire for change and renewal so strongly expressed by the population.
“He calls on all Egyptian authorities to do everything to ensure that this crucial process takes place without violence.”
“Yesterday President Mubarak announced he would not run for another term — that frees the way for a political new beginning. People want democratic change and they want it now. It must be a change towards democracy. Not a change that begins sometime (in the future), but one which begins now.”
“The transition needs to be rapid and credible and it needs to start now. We stand with those, in this country, who want freedom, who want democracy and rights the world over — that should always be our view.
And you can’t watch the scenes in Cairo without finding it incredibly moving about people wanting to have those aspirations in Egypt as we have them in our country.
The government takes a very strong view that political reform is what is required, not repression.
“The key question is have they done enough. President Mubarak says he is going and we respect that. But what matters is not just the orderly transition, but also that it is urgent, it is credible, it starts now.
The more they can do with a timetable to convince people that it’s true, the more I think the country can settle down to a stable and more democratic future.”
“The EU is calling for an orderly transition through a broad-based government leading to a genuine process of substantial democratic reform with full respect of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“Unfortunately, the appointed new cabinet does not constitute such a broad-based representative government.”
“It is very important to get over this period with a temporary administration. People expect Mubarak to take a much different step ... the current administration fails to give confidence for beginning an atmosphere of democracy within a short period of time.”
Compiled by World Desk, London