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US 'timid' over Egyptian reform

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A former United States National Security Council adviser has criticised what she calls "timid" US policy towards reform in Egypt.

Michele Dunne, who served as a State Department official in Cairo and founded the Bipartisan Working Group on Egypt, told the Today programme that the US would prefer that Egypt's President Mubarak "would stay there and would be eased out of office or serve out his term during the transition.

"Personally, I'm not sure this is a realistic scenario at this point."

And she added that Washington "does bear some of the guilt" for keeping Mubarak in power, adding that the US "has not pressed persistently of consistently for democratisation or the improvement of human rights in Egypt".

"Mubarak has received the signal that it really wasn't that important," she explained. "Now it's too late for reforms."

Elsewhere, the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the US President Barak Obama have called for an "orderly transition" to democratic government in Egypt.

At least 125 have died during the unrest.


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