by Chris Bodenner

Scott Lucas takes stock of the situation in Egypt:

[There is] uncertainty surrounding political talks between the regime, led by Vice President Omar Suleiman, and the opposition. Government outlets were soon announcing that agreement had been reached on joint committees, including one for 5412410519_168450fd49_z Constitutional reform, free media, and an end to the military emergency. Other signals cames from the opposition side: the Muslim Brotherhood, now acknowledged by the Government for the first time in more than 50 years, said it was not negotiating but only ensuring that the regime heard the opposition point of view; representatives of the Tahrir Square protesters insisted that the immediate departure of President Mubarak remained an essential precondition; and Mohamed ElBaradei, who has been named by opposition parties to present their position, said he had not even invited to the discussions, even though his representative was there. 

Opposition sources later told media, including the BBC's Jon Leyne, that the talks had been limited to two points: constitutional changes and the procedure to implement them. That would fit the regime narrative that President Mubarak has to be replaced in an "orderly" process, involving Parliamentary approval of a replacement and a procedure for elections, rather than stepping down immediately. Given that the Parliament was dissolved last week by Mubarak, the time involved in even these limited steps would let the President enjoying his office desk for more months.

This is the process that the US, for all the confusion surrounding its position, is backing. President Obama used the occasion of American football's Super Bowl for a pre-game interview in which he got back to his Administration's mantra of "orderly transition".

Image created by Nick Bygon, who writes:

The main image is from Reuters photojournalist Amr Abdallah Dalsh and the second one is from Reuters photojournalist Goran Tomasevic. If any thanks are due, I would appreciate a message to both of them for their hard work and dedication. They have been laying their lives on the line to help document these historical moments, and it is with that same enthusiasm for memorializing those vital turning points towards total liberation that I have used their photographs, to create this illustration.

Here are links to their photos
totallycoolpix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/28012011_egypt...
totallycoolpix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30012011_egypt...

I hope Reuters and Mr. Dalsh and Mr. Tomasevic will understand and allow for the free distribution of this graphic. I am not seeking any profits from this image, as all of my artwork (as seen on my flickr) is all licensed under Creative Commons, share and share alike.

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