WASHINGTON, D.C. (
) -- President Barack Obama appears to disagree with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak about when Mubarak should start transitioning out of the office he's occupied for the past 30 years.
While Mubarak said earlier Tuesday that he
wouldn't run in the country's elections in September
, indicating he plans to stay in power until then, Obama apparently wants to move up the timetable.
"Now, it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt's leaders," Obama said in
an update on the situation
posted on the White House Web site. "Only the Egyptian people can do that. What is clear -- and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak -- is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now."
The statement didn't get more specific than that in terms of what the president thinks should happen, aside from reiterating a pledge to cooperate and provide support to Egypt through the "difficult days" ahead.
"Throughout this process, the United States will continue to extend the hand of partnership and friendship to Egypt," Obama said. "And we stand ready to provide any assistance that is necessary to help the Egyptian people as they manage the aftermath of these protests."
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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