US State Secretary Hillary Clinton
Photo: AP
Ousted President Mubarak - assets to be frozen
Photo: AP

Clinton: We couldn't have predicted Mubarak's downfall

US State Secretary says no one could have predicted dramatic developments in Egypt, insists no outside influence was involved. Meanwhile, questions arise over Mubarak family's assets

Washington – US State of Secretary Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that it wasn't possible to predict the fall of President Mubarak's regime in Egypt. "I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be sitting here talking about the end of the Mubarak presidency at the time that this all started," said Clinton as sources within the US call for self-examination over how no US source saw the dramatic developments coming.


In an interview with the Al-Arabiya TV network, Clinton insisted that "no outside power or influence was determining what happened inside Egypt. This was all about the Egyptian people, and I think the Egyptian people themselves made it clear that they wanted no violence, they wanted their human rights respected, and they wanted a transition to democracy, which is pretty much in line with what we’ve been advocating."


Many eyebrows were raised during the Egypt riots over the US's stance which "zigzagged" in its statements as if trying to adjust itself to the events as they happened, demanding that an organized handover of power begin immediately without clarifying if this included Mubarak's immediate resignation.


And yet, Clinton claimed that the Obama administration was consistent in the demands it presented to Arab leaders over the implementation of political and economic reforms.


In an interview with Al-Jazeera Clinton warned that Egypt is still facing some difficult times ahead. She said that while she was very supportive of the recent events in Egypt, she was realistic over what needs to happen in order to make additional progress.


Clinton stated that everyone realizes that the Egyptian constitution would have to be rewritten, new rules passed, political parties formed – a long list of things that need to be done with every person focused on a certain mission. It will take a great deal of energy from all those involved in the process, she said.


Mubarak assets to be frozen?

Nevertheless, Clinton said that she was encouraged by the military regime's initial steps. She said that the Egyptian army had demonstrated its commitment to the Egyptian people when it showed restraint and supported their right to protest.


Earlier this week the Egyptian Higher Military promised a referendum on constitutional amendments and established a committee to carry out these amendments. Retired judge Tariq al-Bishri, a long time supporter of judicial independence was appointed as the chairman of the committee.


Meanwhile, the US has begun to examine requests presented by the Egyptian government to freeze the assets of some of ousted President Mubarak's senior aides. An official US source said that the State Department has yet to approve the request to freeze assets belonging to Mubarak himself.


Last weekend, the Swiss government announced it decided to freeze all assets belonging to the Mubarak family held in Swiss accounts. The Mubarak fortune is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.



פרסום ראשון: 02.15.11, 09:26
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