President Mubarak can not “reshuffle the deck”

The United States and other leading European nations have urged Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to refrain from violence against unarmed protesters and work to create conditions for free and fair elections.

Washington told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday it was not enough simply to “reshuffle the deck” with a shake-up of his government and pressed him to make good on his promise of genuine reform.

“President Mubarak’s words pledging reform must be followed by action,” he said, echoing Obama’s appeal on Friday for Mubarak to embrace a new political dynamic.

In a statement released in Berlin on Saturday, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they were “deeply worried about the events in Egypt”.

“We call on President Mubarak to renounce any violence against unarmed civilians and to recognise the demonstrators’ peaceful rights,” the joint statement said.

“We call on President Mubarak to begin a transformation process that should be reflected in a broadly based government, as well as free and fair elections.”

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