May 21, 2013
World's reaction to fall of Mubarak: Obama says 'Egyptians have spoken'
US President Barack Obama said the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reflected the will of the Egyptian people and called on the country's powerful military to ensure a transition to "genuine democracy."
"The people of Egypt have spoken," Obama told reporters. "Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day."
"The President was informed of President Mubarak's decision to step down during a meeting in the Oval Office. He then watched TV coverage of the scene in Cairo for several minutes in the outer Oval (office)," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. Vice President Joe Biden called it a "pivotal" moment in the history of Egypt and the Middle East.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said "the EU respects President Mubarak's decision today. By standing down, he has listened to the voices of the Egyptian people and has opened the way to faster and deeper reforms."
"It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people," she added and stated: "The future of Egypt rightly remains in the hands of the Egyptian people. The EU stands ready to help in any way it can."
"Today is a day of great joy," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference. "We are all witness to historic change. I share the joy of people on the streets of Egypt."From Europe there were also notes of caution directed at Egypt's new military rulers.
"It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated, leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people," European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said: "What has happened today should only be the first step. Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the wishes of the Egyptian people and in particular there really must be a move to civilian and democratic rule."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Egypt should now hold free and fair elections.