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Cheney: Mubarak was 'good friend' to U.S.

Feb. 6, 2011 at 8:20 AM

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States needs to remember embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was "a good friend" to the country.

Speaking in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday night at an event to mark the birthday of the late President Ronald Reagan, Cheney called for the Obama administration to tread carefully in dealing with the political upheaval in Egypt, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Since Jan. 25, Cairo and other Egyptian cities have been wracked by violent demonstrations calling for an end to Mubarak's 30-year rule.

"He's been a good friend and ally of the United States and we need to remember that," Cheney said. "And I think President Mubarak needs to be treated as he's deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend, not only to the United States but a lot of other folks that we do business with."

The Republican former second-in-command stopped short of criticizing Democratic President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts and said Egypt's fate is its own to create.

"There comes a time for everyone to hang it up and move on," Cheney said. "But as I say, that's a decision only the Egyptians can make."

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