After the Celebration, a Word of Caution From the White House
Posted on Feb 11, 2011
Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama—even in the estimation of mainstream media outlets—had reveled in the historic moment that unfolded when the Egyptian “uprising” became a full-fledged revolution. Later Friday, the White House made more-cautious noises about the new Egypt and its relationship with the West—and with Israel. —KA
The New York Times:
In Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which depended heavily on Mr. Mubarak, officials were blistering in their criticism of Washington, arguing that the United States abandoned a long-time ally without first building in guarantees that Egypt’s revolution could not be hijacked by religious extremists.
In his final press briefing at the White House on Friday, Robert Gibbs, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, told reporters, “I think it’s important that the next government of Egypt, as we’ve said in here many times, recognize the accords that have been signed with the government of Israel.” But other officials have acknowledged privately that if Egypt turns into a noisy democracy that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, there will undoubtedly be political debate in Egypt about whether the 1979 peace accord with Israel should remain in force.
“We don’t think that there is any real chance the Egyptian military would have any interest in seeing the peace accord walked back,” one of Mr. Obama’s senior aides said this week. “But it’s a warning we must issue.”
White House / Samantha Appleton