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Allies urge US to go slow

As the Obama administration gropes for the right response to the uprising in Egypt, it has not lacked for advice from democracy advocates, pundits, even members of the previous administration.

world Updated: Feb 09, 2011 23:36 IST

As the Obama administration gropes for the right response to the uprising in Egypt, it has not lacked for advice from democracy advocates, pundits, even members of the previous administration.

But few voices have been as urgent, insistent or persuasive as those of Egypt's neighbours.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have each repeatedly pressed the US not to cut loose Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, too hastily, or to throw its weight behind the democracy movement in a way that could further destabilise the region.

There is evidence that the pressure has paid off. On Saturday, just days after suggesting that it wanted immediate change, the administration said it would support an "orderly transition" managed by vice president Omar Suleiman.