Obama Urges Egypt to Halt Emergency Rule

Posted October 25th, 2011 at 3:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has urged the head of Egypt's ruling military council to end emergency rule, and stressed his support for Egypt's transition to democracy.

The White House said Mr. Obama spoke by telephone Monday with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and called for Egypt to also halt military trials of civilians.

The military has been in power since the February ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. Emergency rule has continued despite calls for an end to the widely despised law.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that Egypt's democratic transition would be impeded if emergency rule is not lifted before the June 2012 date set by the military.

The White House said the two leaders also agreed Monday that Egypt's upcoming elections must be free and fair.

The country is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in late November. A presidential vote is planned for after the parliament is seated, and could be held at the end of next year.

Mr. Obama also said he is committed to helping Egypt get international assistance to address its economic needs.