Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed next steps in Egypt during interviews with Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, and Al Arabiya. In her interview with Al Jazeera, Secretary Clinton said, "...Three weeks ago, no one would have guessed that so much could have happened that would have been so responsive to the needs and aspirations that we heard coming from Tahrir Square. And now, like so many kinds of movements for change, the hard work of actually putting into place the steps that are necessary must be pursued, and it needs to be pursued as expeditiously as possible with as broad and inclusive a group of Egyptians involved. But we're just at the beginning of the transition."
The Secretary continued, "...The role that the army played during the last weeks as a guarantor of the Egyptian state, as a institution that was well-respected by the Egyptian people, was absolutely essential. Contrast what happened in Egypt with what is going on today in Iran where, once again, the Iranian Government is lashing out, using violence against people who are expressing the same desires as we heard from Egypt. So I have a lot of sympathy for what has already occurred in Egypt, but I have a sense of realism about what it's going to take to move forward. So far, what the supreme council has announced is in keeping with what they announced they would be doing, and in response to the desires of the Egyptian people and their demands. But I think everyone has to recognize that this transition where you have to rewrite a constitution, you have to pass new laws, you have to help form political parties -- there's a long to-do list, and everybody needs to be sort of focused on the task at hand. And that's going to take an enormous amount of energy from everybody involved."
During her interview with Al Hurra, Secretary Clinton said, "...Our hope is that everything which has been promised -- the end of the emergency law, the movement for constitutional reform, political parties being allowed, all of the pieces that constitute a real transition to democracy -- will be implemented."
The Secretary added, "...I think it's important that the opposition and civil society come together around a set of demands as to what needs to be done, with a timetable, because clearly, the military has evidenced its desire to move in the right direction. But there needs to be continuing efforts by the opposition to help guide where Egypt is going. So I am hoping that we see out of the very diverse opposition that was present over the last three weeks some unifying that would come, not behind personalities, but behind specific demands that have to be met in order for the transition to succeed."
While speaking with Al Arabiya, Secretary Clinton said, "...This is going to be left to the Egyptian people. We have offered whatever aid and assistance we can provide, any that is appropriate and requested. But this is an ongoing effort and there have been some good steps taken so far. But as you point out, the end of the road is what matters -- where will this lead. And clearly, we hope and we are encouraging that the commitment to move toward a democratic transition with free and fair elections is not wavered from."