Egypt Status Quo

While many Egyptians would be glad to see the end of President Hosni Mubarak's rule, many other countries - including other Arab states as well as Israel and the United States - have a powerful stake in the status quo. We look at why so many countries are reluctant to see Mubarak go and how they are responding to the popular uprising in Egypt.


It's Tuesday, February 1st.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he would like to see an orderly transition to a more representative government in Egypt.

Currently .... to be clear, that's a government more representative of American interests.

This is The Current.

Egypt Status Quo - Robert Fisk

We started this segment with a clip from U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Ever since the protests in Egypt began, she and the rest of the Obama Administration have been cautiously hedging their position ... supporting the right of protesters to express their discontent but stopping short of calling for President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

President Mubarak has been a valuable ally and not just to the United States. Others - perhaps most notably, Israel - have a lot tied up in his rule. Robert Fisk has been reporting on the Middle East for more than 30 years. He covers the region for the British Newspaper, The Independent. And today, as usual, he's at the centre of the action in Cairo.

Egypt Status Quo - Eli Shaked

The Israeli army and border police forces have been reinforced along the Egyptian border at Sinai in anticipation according to reports of either possible terrorist infiltration or the possibility of others fleeing to Egypt.

A reminder that Israel signed a historic peace deal with Egypt in 1979. It also has other deals with Egypt, notably for natural gas.

Israelis have mixed feelings about what might happen if Mr. Mubarak is ousted. We aired a clip with some thoughts from Jerusalem about the possibility of a future without Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

For his thoughts on what Israel has at stake, we were joined by Eli Shaked. He's a former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt. He was in Modi'in, Israel.

Egypt Status Quo - Daniel Kurtzer

In the midst of this, the latest wires are saying that Jordan's King Abdullah has dismissed his government and appointed a new Prime Minister. The Turkish Prime Minister is urging Mr. Mubarak to listen to the people.

The United States has treated President Mubarak as a key ally for a long time. For his thoughts on what the U.S. has at stake now, we were joined by Daniel Kurtzer. He's a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt also later to Israel. He is now a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Princeton University - The Woodrow Wilson School. He was in Princeton, New Jersey.

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