Obama trying to stop anti-US demonstration in Egypt

President Barack Obama


Feb 01, Cairo (KATAKAMI.COM / ANTARA/IRNA-OANA) – The Obama administration is continuing lobbying with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his deputy Omar Suleiman to stop anti-US demonstrations in Egyptian cities including Cairo.

According to the latest reports available, Mubarak`s numerous sessions with ranking military officials as well as the direct contacts made by US President Barack Obama have been continuing till this morning to find any kind of way possible to prevent the millions-strong demonstrations from turning into a rally against the US and the Zionist regime.

The concern is due to reports by some Egyptian intelligence officials who said yesterday that there was a strong possibility of seeing the flags of the US and the Zionist regime torched during the Tuesday demonstrations by the Egyptian public.

There are also possibilities that the continuing unrest in the country would lead to attacks on the US embassy and American citizens by the angry crowds.

Political observers believe the Egyptian nation`s demonstration is rapidly gaining new dimensions and momentum giving rise to speculations that the preserving of the Mubarak regime is no longer a priority with the Washington officials.

The latest decisions by the US administration to evacuate its citizens from Egypt indicates the high concerns on the part of the US officials about the fact that the millions-strong demonstration in Egypt is adopting slogans against the US and Israel.

A Cairo citizen, introducing himself as Abdullah, said people have reached the conclusion that the US is stopping Mubarak from leaving his post and as such is confronting the will of the Egyptian nation.

Latest news from Cairo have it that the army commanders have been ordered to use violent methods against the public if demonstrations develop a new face by adopting anti-US moves.

Egypt, particularly during the Mubarak rule, has been a strategic US ally in the region.(*)


U.S. urges Egypt's Mubarak do more; envoy in Cairo

FILE : U.S. President Barack Obama meets with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak at the White House in Washington in this August 18, 2009 file photo. Obama on Sunday urged an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down but signaling that his days may be numbered. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files


Feb 01 (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – The United States urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday to do more than name a new government in response to mass protests and sent an envoy to Cairo to reinforce the message.

Former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner was on the ground in Cairo as U.S. officials sought to bring pressure on Mubarak without openly calling on him to step down.

Officials said the Egyptian government needs a path to a credible presidential election in September as part of an “orderly transition.” Also needed are a lifting of emergency law and negotiations with a broad cross-section of Egyptians, including opposition groups, they said.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wisner “has the opportunity to gain a perspective on what they’re thinking and what their ideas are in terms of process that we’ve clearly called for.”

Still walking a diplomatic tightrope, the White House insisted President Barack Obama was not calling on Mubarak to step down after a week of street protests against him and said it was up to the Egyptian people to decide their own future.

Still, the United States has started to think about the long-term implications of the protests and scenarios for what might come next, according to an analyst who was present at a White House meeting on the subject.

Obama has voiced concerns to aides that any U.S. effort to insert itself into the situation could backfire.

After a weekend in which Mubarak named a new vice president but still clung to power, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, “This is not about appointments, it’s about actions.”

“Obviously there is more work to be done. … The way Egypt looks and operates must change,” Gibbs said.

The White House said Vice President Joe Biden called King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain on Monday and reiterated the strong U.S. focus on opposing violence and support for human rights, free speech and an orderly transition to a government responsive to the Egyptian people’s Aspirations.

As the crisis led to an surge in crude oil prices, a U.S. lawmaker called on the White House to set aside its delicate balancing act and call on Mubarak to step down.

“While initially it may have been prudent for the Obama administration to walk that rhetorical tight rope to keep the confidence of regional leaders, that moment has surely passed,” said Democratic Representative Gary Ackerman.

Brian Katulis, a Middle East expert at the Center for American Progress who attended a meeting with White House national security aides and outside analysts on Monday, said the administration was thinking about what will happen next.

“They were very focused on … some of the longer term consequences, not only in Egypt but also the consequences this may have on the region,” he said.

The problem for U.S. policymakers is: who would replace Mubarak, a stalwart ally for 30 years? They fear the possibility of radical Muslims taking over in a country of paramount strategic importance to Washington.

Stephen Grand, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution, said U.S. officials “seem to have in mind a managed transition that avoids the creation of a vacuum that extremist elements might exploit.”

“This could mean the creation of a caretaker government that oversees the rewriting of the constitution and the holding of free and fair elections,” he said.

The crisis is taking its toll on oil markets.

Brent crude oil futures surged to $101 a barrel, a 28-month high, as anxieties rose that protests in Egypt could spark instability across the Middle East and disrupt oil shipments through the Suez Canal.

U.S. stocks rose as investors focused on the expanding U.S. economy and rising earnings, satisfied the situation in Egypt would not escalate into widespread violence or turmoil. The broad Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed up 0.77 percent, at 1,286.12.

Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s energy panel, warned on Monday that the escalating protests in Egypt could affect U.S. access to affordable energy supplies.

Egypt’s Suez Canal allows the transport of crude oil and liquefied natural gas bound for the U.S. and other countries.

National security aides at the White House were monitoring the effect the unrest and uncertainty in Egypt may have on oil and financial markets. Gibbs said no disruptions had been reported in the Suez Canal.  (*)



Chinese president attends private dinner hosted by Obama

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (KATAKAMI.COM / Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao attended a private dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday night.

In a friendly atmosphere both heads of state exchanged views on Sino-U.S. relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

President Obama extended a warm welcome to President Hu, who is on a state visit to the United States. Both leaders positively assessed the progress in bilateral relations, and hoped that the visit will further promote a positive, cooperative and comprehensive Sino-U.S. relationship.

Hu said he had come to the United States to strengthen mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples, boost bilateral exchanges and cooperation and enhance effective coordination between the two countries on major international and regional issues. Above all, he said he had come to open a new phase in the development of Sino-U.S. relations.

Hu, who arrived here Tuesday for a four-day state visit, will have a formal meeting with Obama on Wednesday.  (*)

Obama chooses William Daley as chief of staff

.S. President Barack Obama (L) welcomes newly appointed White House Chief of Staff William Daley (L) after making an announcement about the position in the East Room of the White House January 6, 2010 in Washington, DC. Daley, formerly with JP Morgan Chase, replaces Rahm Emanuel who resigned in October. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.COM

WASHINGTON, Jan 06 (KATAKAMI /AP)  – President Barack Obama named veteran political manager William Daley to be his new chief of staff Thursday, selecting a centrist with Wall Street ties to help navigate a newly divided Congress and a looming re-election.

“Few Americans can boast the breadth of experience that Bill brings to this job,” Obama told reporters in the East Room as Daley, 62, stood at his side.

“But most of all, I know Bill to be somebody who cares deeply about this country, believes in its promise, and considers no calling higher and more important than serving the American people,” the president said.

The appointment represented the most significant move in a far-reaching and ongoing staff shakeup that included the departure of Obama’s press secretary and several key deputies and economic advisers. It came the day after Republicans officially assumed control of the House and increased their numbers in the Senate.

Daley, who served as commerce secretary for President Bill Clinton, offers criteria Obama wants for the new environment in Washington: an outsider’s perspective, credibility with the business community, familiarity with the ways of the Cabinet and experience in navigating divided government.

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) thanks interim White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse (L) while announcing the new White House Chief of Staff William Daley (R) in the East Room of the White House January 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. Daley, formerly with JP Morgan Chase, replaces Rahm Emanuel who resigned in October. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“I’m convinced that he’ll help us in our mission of growing our economy and moving America forward,” Obama said.

Daley made a pledge to the president: “This team will not let you down — nor the nation.”

Daley replaces Pete Rouse, the interim chief of the last three months and a behind-the-scenes Obama adviser who did not want the position permanently and recommended Daley for it. Rouse, who received warm praise from Obama and sustained applause from staffers watching in the East Room, will remain as a counselor to the president, an elevated position from his former job as senior adviser.

Daley was expected to start as chief of staff within the next couple of weeks. His brother, Richard Daley, is the mayor of Chicago, the post that Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, left his job in October to seek. The Daley brothers are sons of Richard J. Daley, who was Chicago’s mayor from 1955 to his death in 1976.

Although Chicago is also Obama’s hometown, the president has not had a close relationship with his new chief of staff. But Obama alluded to the Daley political legacy, joking that he “has a smidgen of awareness of how our system of government and politics works. You might say it is a genetic trait.”

Daley will assume one of the most important and influential jobs in American government as an adviser and gatekeeper to Obama. He will be thrust into the heart of national politics just as Obama adapts to a new reality in Washington, with Republicans working to gut his signature health care law and pushing for major cuts in spending.

Although Daley has not sought elective office himself, he has long been immersed in politics.

He helped Clinton pass the North American Free Trade Agreement before joining his Cabinet. Later, he ran Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and the historic recount effort that ended with Gore conceding the race to George W. Bush.

When Obama launched his presidential campaign, the Daley family put aside its deep connections to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton and endorsed the young Illinois senator. Until then, Obama and the Daleys had largely operated separately in Illinois politics — not helping each other much but not attacking each other, either. After Obama’s victory, Daley helped oversee the presidential transition.

Daley, a lawyer and banker, now serves as Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase. His appointment could raise questions about the White House’s closeness with Wall Street just as Obama is eager to enforce reforms that benefit the little guy.

Liberal groups reacted negatively to the announcement, with MoveOn.org calling it “troubling” because of Daley’s “close ties to the big banks and big business.” By contrast, the choice won praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which Obama has recently begun to woo after clashes with business groups. The chamber called Daley “a man of stature and extraordinary experience in government, business, trade negotiations and global affairs.”

The reactions underscored Obama’s determination to play to the middle as he ramps up for his re-election fight in 2012, even if it means alienating allies on the left.

Daley laid out his political ideology last year upon joining the board of Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank.

“We must acknowledge that the left’s agenda has not won the support of a majority of Americans — and, based on that recognition, we must steer a more moderate course,” he said at the time.

Obama is ushering in changes across his senior leadership — the result of internal staff fatigue, a need to shift energy and people to Obama’s re-election campaign, and an adaptation to the fresh limits on Obama’s power. Although many of the names of the players may not be familiar to the electorate, the collective personnel changes will influence not just Obama but the national agenda.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced Wednesday he was resigning by early February, senior adviser David Axelrod will be leaving soon, and both of Obama’s deputy chiefs of staff, Jim Messina and Mona Sutphen, are exiting soon, too. David Plouffe, a key member of Obama’s inner circle as his former presidential campaign manager, will be joining the senior staff of the White House on Monday.

Daley emerged as a natural candidate for the chief of staff post, particularly after other internal candidates ended up in other positions. He is close to some of those in Obama’s orbit, including Axelrod, Emanuel and senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett.  (*)


%d bloggers like this: