Egypt's VP says change comes in steps

CAIRO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Egypt's new vice president says convening talks with opposition leaders is the first step in the political transition that demonstrators have been demanding.

In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," Vice President Omar Suleiman urged patience and said specific steps are necessary to ensure a peaceful change that will satisfy everyone.


"If President Mubarak would say that 'I'm leaving now,' then who would take over?" said Suleiman. "In the constitution, that means the (parliament) speaker would take over. I think with this atmosphere that means that other people who have their own agendas would create instability in our country."

Urging patience ran counter to the demands of demonstrators who have for the past two weeks been calling on Mubarak to step down immediately. But Suleiman said the process could only go so fast.

"I want the opposition to understand that, in this limited time, we can do what President Mubarak has said he would and we cannot do more," Suleiman said. "When a new president comes (into office), you will have more time to make any changes you want."


Suleiman said the most constructive thing the anti-Mubarak protesters could do would be to go home and allow the Egyptian economy to get back on track.

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