Sunday Feb 06, 201106:16 PM GMT
Obama envoy backs Mubarak's grip on power
Sun Feb 6, 2011 6:16PM
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U.S. special envoy Frank Wisner has said the unpopular Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's leadership is crucial for the country's transition to democracy.

 

The former U.S. ambassador to Egypt met with Mubarak earlier this week and said on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany that "Mubarak must stay in office in order to steer those changes through... This is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward," reports indicate.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The Obama Administration was quick to distance itself from Wisner's remarks.

 

"The views he (Wisner) expressed today are his own. He did not coordinate his comments with the U.S. government," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said recently.

 

At the request of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Wisner had travelled to Cairo to deliver a Washington message to Mubarak. Sify

 

Even as Hillary Clinton stated that steps needed to be taken to ensure critical upcoming elections, so that the voice of the Egyptian people can be clarified in a credible format, President Obama sent Frank Wisner, former U.S. Ambassador from the Reagan and Bush administrations, to talk to President Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak.

 

President Mubarak is the fourth President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. He was appointed Vice president in 1975, and he took over as president of Egypt when Anwar Sadat was assassinated. He is a former commander from the Egyptian Air Force.

 

Egypt has been a strategic ally to the United States in the Middle East.

 

Newspapers are reporting that President Obama sent former ambassador Wisner to discuss how to prepare for orderly transition from the current government to one that is more "responsive to democracy," open to economic and political reforms, and attentive to human rights. Examiner

 

FACTS & FIGURES

Frank George Wisner II (born 1938) is an American businessman and former diplomat. He is the son of Frank Gardiner Wisner (born 1909), the head of the Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the 1950s, who committed suicide in 1965.

 

Frank Wisner' father, Frank Wisner Sr. was a senior CIA official (from 1947 until his suicide in 1965) who was involved in the overthrow of Arbenz of Guatemala (1954) and Mossaddeq of Iran (1953).

 

In 1976, at the beginning of the Former President Jimmy Carter's administration, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State. Among his overseas assignments, Wisner served as the United States Ambassador to Zambia (1979-82); Egypt (1986-91), the Philippines (1991-92), and India, (1994-97).

 

Wisner Junior was well-known in the CIA and he worked as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs; his other boss, Kenneth L. Lay, Chief Executive Officer of Enron Corporation, also worked for the Pentagon during the U.S. war in Vietnam.

 

With 'economic espionage' as a task for the CIA, there is little doubt that Wisner used this instrument during his long-tenure as Ambassador in Asian nations. A Wisner staffer once told InterPress Services that 'if anybody asked the CIA to help promote U.S. business in India, it was probably Frank'.

 

RG/SM/HM

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