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EGYPT: Obama tells Mubarak to deliver on reform

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President Obama said he urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to deliver on promised political, social and economic reforms Friday, saying that “this moment of volatility has to be turned into a moment of promise.”

Obama called on Egyptian authorities to refrain from using violence against peaceful protesters, and told the Egyptian government to restore Internet and cell-phone service that had been cut. But the president also called on demonstrators to “express themselves peacefully.”

Obama was responding to a televised speech by Mubarak in which the Egyptian leader appeared less than conciliatory, warning that he would continue to crack down on protests to prevent “chaos” from spreading. Mubarak did promise that a new government would be formed to address the grievances driving the unrest.

Mubarak has a “responsibility to give meaning to those words,” Obama said, declaring that “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.”

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-- L.A. Times staff

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