Obama Meets With National Security Team on Egypt

By Chris Good

After speaking publicly about Egypt's unrest Friday night, President Obama met with his national security team Saturday afternoon to discuss the events unfolding there.


The White House sent this summary of the meeting to reporters Saturday afternoon:

At 1:00 pm today, the President convened a meeting of his national security team at the White House. Participants included Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, Senior Director for the Central Region Dennis Ross, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Dan Shapiro, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. The meeting lasted just over an hour. The President was updated on the situation in Egypt. He reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt. 

Obama spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, the U.S. president said Friday night during his televised remarks from Washington.

Mubarak has been a U.S. ally, and, thus far, the Obama administration has appeared publicly neutral on whether he should remain president. Obama announced Friday that he had advised Mubarak to heed the public's cries for reform--suggesting, perhaps, that Obama sees a viable way for Mubarak to satisfy the Egyptian public while remaining in office.

In the above readout of Obama's meeting, the White House retained its public agnosticism on Mubarak's fate, phrasing its view as "supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt." The question, however, is whether Mubarak's resignation will be one of those steps.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/obama-meets-with-national-security-team-on-egypt/70478/