Kissinger: Egypt needs new constitution

Feb. 5, 2011 at 12:21 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Saturday the United States would do better to keep a low profile as it tries to usher in a new regime in Egypt.

Speaking on Fox News, the Nobel Peace Prize winning diplomat said an orderly transition to a more-democratic political system would require several months and that pushing for President Hosni Mubarak's immediate departure would not necessarily bring about a new political era.

He noted that if Mubarak resigned at this time, the Egyptian constitution and current election laws would trigger a succession process that would be in line with the political structure that helped keep him in power for so many years.

"It is in our interests to pursue the creation of a new constitution that is democratic," said Kissinger, "We should be looking at a democratic evolution."

Kissinger said U.S. diplomats should cultivate key democratic reformists and military leaders in a low-key fashion during the process. "It should not look like an American project. The Egyptians are a proud people. They threw out the British and they threw out the Russians."

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