REACTION: Egyptian crisis sparks global reaction

A roundup of reactions from Canada and around the world on the crisis in Egypt.
Demonstrators show their support for anti-government Egyptian protests in front of the Egyptian consulate in Montreal on Sunday. ((Graham Hughes/Associated Press))

The crisis in Egypt is sparking reaction from Canada and around the world.

Among those responding:

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon

"We don't get involved in, as you know, the internal sovereignty of a country, so it's up to President Mubarak to listen to the will of the people and to do what we think is the right thing to do in terms of bringing in reforms."

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff

"I hope that Canada will do everything in its power to say to Egypt, 'Let's do this peacefully and get to democratic elections as soon as possible.'"

NDP Leader Jack Layton

"Ultimately of course these things are up to the Egyptian people, but it seems quite clear that significant change is what is being sought by people in Egypt right now, and so let's make sure that that process is democratic as much as that can possibly be achieved."

Ahmed Osman, president of the Egyptian Student Association, University of Toronto

"All we want basically is to change the constitution. It's not important who is going to lead, but what is important [is that] the constitution should be changed in order to allow for a secession for the presidency.… As an Egyptian, actually I'm not asking for any involvement from any external force. I'm not asking the Canadians to go with military force. No, we can do it by ourselves and we can free our land."

International Mideast envoy Tony Blair

"Change is going to happen, but it should be the right type of change and that process of change needs to be managed with order and stability so that you don't end up in a situation worse than the one we have and destabilizing the region."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Israel and Egypt have been at peace for more than three decades and our objective is to ensure that these ties be preserved. At this time, we must display responsibility, restraint and utmost prudence."

U.S. President Barack Obama

"Ultimately the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people…. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. Government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power — you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion."

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton

"We have a very clear message — long-term stability rests on responding to the legitimate needs of the Egyptian people and that is what we want to see happen…. It needs to be an orderly, peaceful transition to real democracy, not faux democracy like the elections we saw in Iran two years ago."

British Prime Minister David Cameron

"There needs to be a proper, orderly transition to a more democratic situation, where there are greater rights, greater freedoms, better rule of law…. This repression — if you opt for that, that will end badly for Egypt, badly for the world. It is the wrong choice."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

"We're talking here about a rightful concern — particularly of the middle class, namely the opportunity to advance, democratic rights, civil rights… "It is important that a process of radicalization will be avoided. We don't want radical free riders to profit from such a demonstration for freedom." 

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini

"I am sure Egyptians will be in a position to choose democracy and civil rights, not extremism, not radicalism."

Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado

"These indications are so serious, so deep, with such a huge impact on geopolitical balances in the region, that we need to reflect comprehensively about what is going on in the region and what will be the future of the European Union's relations with the Arab and Islamic worlds."