Mullen Reiterates Confidence in Egyptian Military
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 America’s senior military officer today reiterated his admiration for the Egyptian military and continued to call for calm in the region.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke by phone this morning with his Egyptian counterpart, Army Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, for the second time since Enan returned to Cairo last week.
The admiral’s spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, said the Egyptian general updated Mullen on recent developments in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s speech yesterday.
The chairman thanked the Egyptian general for the continued contact, reiterated his desire to see the situation return to calm, and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian military’s ability to provide for their country’s security, both internally and throughout the Suez Canal area, Kirby said.
Enan was in Washington for a slate of regularly scheduled U.S.-Egyptian military meetings when protests broke out in Egypt last week.
After his first phone conversation with Enan earlier this week, Mullen expressed confidence in Egypt’s military in the face of the crisis. “[Enan] assures me that they’re very focused on this, and they will continue to be a stabilizing influence within their country,” he said.
Mubarak announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election for the post he has held since 1981.
President Barack Obama said he spoke to Mubarak after the Egyptian president’s speech.
“He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable, and that a change must take place,” Obama said yesterday. “Indeed, all of us who are privileged to serve in positions of political power do so at the will of our people.”
During its thousands of years of history, Obama said, Egypt has known many moments of transformation.
“The voices of the Egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments; this is one of those times,” he said.