The United States on Friday gave its strongest hint yet that it wants Hosni Mubarak to resign now.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama suggested Mubarak should go sooner rather than later.
“He needs to listen to what is being voiced by the Egyptian people, and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly, but that is meaningful and serious,” Obama told reporters in Washington D.C.
“It’s also clear that there needs to be a transition process that begins now,” he added.
Washington has long enjoyed strong diplomatic ties with Egypt.
It is one of America’s most important allies in the Middle East because they share strategic interests.
The Egyptian government has cracked down on Islamist extremists, mediates in the Israeli-Palestine conflict and controls the Suez Canal, a key trade route.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid after Israel, receiving some 1.5 billion euros a year.