Briefing bites
February 7th, 2011
05:52 PM ET

Briefing bites

Washington (CNN) – Robert Gibbs spent the bulk of the briefing on Egypt.   The situation in Egypt is changing day by day, hour by hour.  Robert Gibbs explains where the U.S. stands on Egypt

Click below for a sample of what Gibbs said today.

QUESTION:  This thing, as you know, has changed by the hour.  So
the president, as we stand today, is optimistic about how the process
is headed? 
     GIBBS:  Well, again, optimistic. 

     And I think it's important in - in a couple things.  Because I
think what you just said is very important:  that this thing does
change very quickly, hour by hour. 

     Understand, if you take a half a step back, what we've seen
happen over the course of 10 to 14 days - and you've heard me
describe it, you've seen some monumental changes in Egypt:  a leader
say he's not going to run for reelection; a leader say that his son
won't be running in his place for election; the appointment of a vice
president and the tasking of that vice president to lead a process to
result in a free and fair election; many other points along the way. 

     But I think that is - that is - that is important.  Again, the
most important thing is that there has to be a process toward

meaningful change.  That we have to see, again, the government sit
with a broad cross-section of society that makes up - when I say the
opposition, people that aren't in government, to get us toward the
free and fair elections that we know ultimately will be the a result
of this.
     QUESTION:  Just to follow on Ben's question about the Muslim
Brotherhood, I know you keep insisting that this is something for the
Egyptian people to figure out; it's not for the United States to
interfere.  But would the White House be comfortable with the Muslim
Brotherhood playing a significant role in Egypt?

     GIBBS:  Again, obviously, we - as I said, we have significant
disagreements with - with - we have not been in contact with the
Muslim Brotherhood. 

     But, again, we don't - the United States doesn't pick leaders of
other countries. 

     QUESTION:  Right. 

     I'm not talking about picking them, but would you be comfortable
if they became - took on a leadership role?

     GIBBS:  Look, we have said in other countries in the world that
becoming part of - you have responsibilities if you become part of
the government to adhere to the agreements that that government has
laid out, to adhere to the rule of law and to the constitution and to
adhere to non-violence.

     So, obviously, we have - we have many disagreements with the
rhetoric of some of the leaders in that - in that organization.
     QUESTION:  I know tactics are changing all the time.  What is our
policy toward Egypt right now?  How would you describe our policy
toward Egypt?

     GIBBS:  Our policy toward Egypt is - is - we watch and we are
strongly encouraging the process of - the process of meaningful
change transpiring, resulting in a more open, a more transparent
society, a more responsive government, one that the United States can
continue to partner with, one that results in - a process that
results in free and fair elections, and one that is democratically

Topics: Briefing Bites • Egypt • Robert Gibbs

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