The United States appears to be sending out mixed messages on Egypt. The US had previously called for President Mubarak to stand down and hand over power immediately, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now says dialogue with the opposition should be given time, and the US special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner, went further.
He said “the president must stay in office to steer the changes through, I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical”.
Much may depend on the anti-government protesters, still in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after 12 days. But the apparent movement by the United States, brings it more into line with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who’s urged those hungry for change in Egypt, to be patient. A US official later said that Wisner did not speak for the American government.