Former Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner conveyed President Obama’s private message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he should not run for another term in the fall, The New York Times reported today.
The Obama administration so far has not called publicly for Mubarak to step down, saying the decision is one for the Egyptian people to make.
American diplomats in Cairo and Washington told The Times that Wisner’s message was not a direct demand from Washington but rather one of “firm counsel” that Mubarak should hold “free and fair elections” to result in a new Egyptian leader.
Al Arabiya television is reporting that Mubarak will announce later today that he will not seek reelection in September, when Egyptian elections are scheduled, but will stay in office until then.
The State Department confirmed earlier that the administration asked Wisner to travel to Egypt and meet with officials. "The U.S. government asked him to go. As someone with deep experience in the region, he is meeting with Egyptian officials and providing his assessment," the department said.