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Egyptian Army vows to bring transition to democracy in Egypt

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces is now incharge of administration in the post-Mubarak Egypt.

Written by Agencies | Cairo |
February 12, 2011 12:49:00 pm

Egypt’s military leadership vowed to oversee a ‘peaceful transition’ to democracy and pledged its commitment to all international treaties,a day after Hosni Mubarak bowed out as President in the wake of an unprecedented uprising against his 30-year rule.

In a statement here,the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,which is now incharge of the administration in the post-Mubarak Egypt,gave no timeline for the changeover.

The military also banned top officials from travelling outside the country to ensure that former presidential loyalists do not flee.

The Council said the present government would remain in place until a transition to an elected government is achieved.

In a televised statement entitled “Communique Number 4,” it said it would “pave the way for an elected civil authority to build a free democratic state”.

Mubarak,82,fled from Cairo yesterday as tens of thousands of protesters laid siege to his presidential palace demanding an end to his rule.

In what comes as an assurance to Israel,the military also vowed to respect the regional and international treaties that Egypt has committed to in the past.

“The Arab Republic of Egypt is committed to all regional and international obligations and treaties,” the military communique said.

The statement is expected to allay the concerns in Israel which is anxious that a change in leadership in Egypt could hamper the 1979 Camp David accords.

Celebrations have refused to die down in an emotionally-charged Egypt where thousands of people have been rejoicing since last night when Vice President Omar Suleiman appeared on television to announce that Mubarak had finally stepped down.

Thousands of people still remain in Cairo’s Tahrir Square,the centre of the 18-day uprising in Egypt.

The army,which has come in for praise for its handling of the protesters,today removed barricades and barbed wire at the now iconic Tahrir Square.

Men,women and children,lauded the world over for their near violence-free revolution,joined in to clean the streets,collecting rubbish as tanks still lurked on the sides of main roads.

Earlier,the military imposed a ban on officials from travelling outside the country.

The ban comes into force immediately,an official announcement from the new regime said as the Egyptian capital limped back to normalcy after 18-days of turmoil.

An official statement said that officials could only travel with permission from State Prosecutor or the armed forces.

Joy in Arab world over Egypt as people ask who is next?

The euphoria that marked the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt reverberated to the people across the Arab and Muslim world,but stunned most of the regimes in the Middle East and beyond where autocratic rulers apparently calculated their own chances of survival.

People in Palestine,Jordan,Turkey,Yemen,Bahrain,Algeria,Lebanon,Syria and Iran greeted with fanfare the victory of people in Egypt by fireworks,honking horns,embracing and greeting each other with joy,but there was a stunned silence in the corridors of powers in most of the countries.

Most of the key Arab states including Saudi Arabia,Libya,Kuwait,Oman and Bahrain which are monarchies and sheikhdoms are yet to respond to events in Egypt – the most populated Arab country.

It has been just eight weeks since a young Tunisian vegetable seller Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on fire in the provincial town of Sidi,triggering a revolution which has toppled two powerful Arab regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.

Inspired by events in Tunsia and Egypt,groups are already rallying in Yemen,Algeria,Jordan and Bahrain. The people have been intensely following the unfolding of peoples’ power in Egypt through satellite channels,social networking websites and papers.

Turkey,one of the largest Muslim democratic country,was the first to greet the events in Egypt with Prime Minister Rcecep Tayyip Erdogan congratulating the Egyptian people and urging the military to swiftly transfer power to the elected government.

In Doha,the ruling family of Qatar described the transition of power to military as positive and important and hoped that Egypt would regain the leading role in Arab and Muslim world.

The gas rich kingdom has earned the ire of its neighbouring states including Egypt over the coverage of events by Al-Jazeera news channel which is part owned by the ruling family.

Saluting the Egyptian people,the Iranian government,which has broken off diplomatic ties with Cairo,described the Egyptian uprising as a great victory.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had earlier called for establishment of an Islamic regime in Egypt. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a new Middle East was being carved out that would be free of “US and Israel.”

Celebrations also erupted in Lebanon and Gaza. In Beirut and Gaza,people rushed into the streets handing out candy,setting of fireworks and shooting in the air.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah,which has been at the receiving end of Mubarak,congratulated the Egyptians on the historic victory. The group said it was holding a massive popular celebration to mark the victory of the Egyptian people.

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