Obama Envoy Tells Mubarak Time Is Up

February 1, 2011 - 5:05 PM

Washington (AP) - A special envoy dispatched to Egypt by President Barack Obama told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that the U.S. saw his presidency at an end and urged him not to seek another term in office while preparing for an orderly transition to real democracy in elections, American officials said Tuesday.

The message was delivered to Mubarak on Monday by Frank Wisner, a respected former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, whom Obama dispatched to Cairo amid mounting anti-government protests and demands for the Egyptian leader to step down, according to two officials familiar with the envoy's mission. Wisner and Mubarak are friends and the officials said the two had a back-and-forth discussion in which each provided the other with their perspectives on developments.

During the course of the conversation, Wisner told Mubarak that it was the U.S "view that his tenure as president is coming to a close," according to one official. A second official said Wisner had relayed Obama's assessment that Mubarak should not seek re-election in a scheduled September presidential vote.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the delicacy of the matter ahead of an expected speech to the Egyptian people by Mubarak in which he is expected to address his future.