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Sweden welcomes Mubarak's resignation

The Local/dl · 11 Feb 2011, 20:42

Published: 11 Feb 2011 20:42 GMT+01:00

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“Welcome announcement from Cairo!” wrote Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt on his Twitter account shortly after Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had handed over power to a group of military leaders.

“Now the big and critically important question is what is coming next,” Bildt tweeted further.

Word that the 82-year-old autocrat had finally ceded power in the face of unwavering anti-government protests came less than 24 hours after Mubarak delivered a defiant speech vowing to remain at his post until presidential elections, currently scheduled for September.

But Mubarak’s Thursday evening speech only further galvanized the opposition’s resolve to keep pressure on the embattled Egyptian leader, whose position has been uncertain since demonstrators first took to the streets in Cairo and other cities 18 days ago.

“Taking into consideration the difficult circumstances the country is going through, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the post of president of the republic and has tasked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the state’s affairs,” Suleiman said in a televised statement.

Crowds in Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation upon hearing the announcement.

“Egypt is free!” they shouted, according to the New York Times newspaper.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt called Mubarak’s resignation “a triumph, not only for the Egyptian people and the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, but also for those who believe and fight for democratic values”.

“The people’s protests for openness, freedom, and democracy in Egypt have yielded results,” Reinfeldt said in a statement.

“Much work still remains and it’s important to start a broad and serious dialogue with the opposition which can pave the way for free and democratic elections.”

Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin also welcomed the news, expressing hope for what a change in political leadership may bring to Egypt.

“The people of Egypt demand freedom, democracy, and human dignity. That can only be achieved with new, democratically elected political leadership in the country,” she said in a statement.

“I hope that Egypt now moves forward with free and fair democratic elections and that they occur without violence.”

Speaking with the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, former Social Democratic foreign minister and career diplomat Jan Eliasson emphasised that the Egyptian people must view the shift in power as credible, adding that the country needs to implement key reforms quickly to move toward democracy.

He considerd Mubarak’s transfer of power to the military as vital to avoiding a bloodbath amid mounting tensions following the president’s speech on Thursday night.

“There were lots of demonstrators who were going to march to government buildings and the presidential palace. If the military hadn’t decided to do what they have now done, you never know what might have happened. I was very worried this morning,” he told the newspaper.

While sober in his assessment about the hard work that lay ahead for Egypt, Bildt couldn’t help but express his hope about what Mubarak's exit may mean for the future.

Story continues below…

“Let's hope this is the beginning of a new renaissance for Egypt and the Arab world!” he tweeted.

He added that it was “time for Europe to engage deeply with Egypt” to assist with the transition to a democratic society.

Writing on his blog, Bildt explained that, according to Egypt’s current constitution, new elections are to be held within two months, but he added it was “doubtful” that such a timetable could be met.

“The changes that are required for a genuine free and fair election are far-reaching,” he wrote, adding that Egypt must now engage in a national dialogue to unify around a path toward free elections.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:03 February 11, 2011 by sgt_doom
Mubarak and America's $9 Trillion Billionaire Bailout

A little while back, thanks to the efforts of Bernie Sanders (Senate) and Ron Paul (House) of the US Congress, the Federal Reserve had to come clean on the (at least) $9 trillion which turns out to have been transferred to both domestic and foreign banks, corporations and super-rich individuals.

The purpose was to subsidize those worthless credit derivatives based upon debt, i.e., using debt as an asset.

And not simply debt, but leveraged debt, and super-leveraged debt, and mega-leveraged debt, and finally, ultra-leveraged debt to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars.

And those debt-financed billionaires, who made and increased their fortunes by peddling that securitized debt, hung onto their money and received some of that $9 trillion in bailout funds from the US Federal Reserve.

And one of those billionaires was an Egyptian dictator by the name of Hosni Mubarak, whose estimated worth lies between $50 billion to $70 billion.

Today's snake oil is securitized debt; producing nothing but enriching the super-rich crooks.

The world's oldest existing democracy, Iceland, recently arrested their former president for financial misdeeds.

Let us hope that Egypt is the newest democracy, and that both Egypt, and Sweden, will do the same for their former presidents and prime ministers (Carl Bildt of Lundin Petroleum).
21:26 February 11, 2011 by Swedesmith
Love to see my tax dollars going to such good use.
21:26 February 11, 2011 by MarkinBoston
The Ron Paul nutters are everywhere.
21:44 February 11, 2011 by Observant
Sweden had better keep their eyes on Egypt as the same is brewing for Sweden. It might take a lot longer BUT it will come.

The Swedes were happy wheh the Shah of Iran was overthrown back in the later part of the 1970's. But they soon changed their tone when they saw what and who took over. Swedes are all too quick to comment but they do not use their little grey cells enough.

Mubarak, for all his faults, was the FIRST Arab country to make peace with Israel. But all that will soon be forgotten. Then it will be followed with more unrest in the Middle East. It is better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

It took the Egyptians 30 years to decide that Mubarak was no good. Well he MUST have been good in some way or else this people's revolution would have happened ages ago.

The next will be Iran - watch and wait.
21:47 February 11, 2011 by dammen
Although I think this is an outstanding example of pure people power in action (power to the people etc etc) and could precursor a true transition to democracy, I am a little sceptical of how it all happened. I am not so convinced Mubarak went easily nor that the military staged a coup to get him out. I have a sneaky suspicion it was staged to maintain an element of military power ( I have followed this carefully since it started). The only difference between this situation and similar events is that now the whole world is watching to see what happens and could react quickly if they thought necessary.

At the end of the day this is a momentous occasion for the Egyptian people - whatever it may entail, for the Arab world, for peace relations with Israel, and for the whole world. Let us hope that this continues in the peaceful way if has so far.

One very striking scene that came out of today was the unified nature of the prayers in Tahrir square - it made me realise this could be one of the reasons why Islam is hated so much -it unifies all levels of society rich, poor, employed, unemployed etc. Never have I seen such a united front. I personally did not find it unnerving, but could see how this kind of thing could make people feel unsafe.

Let us hope this same unity will carry the people towards democracy peacefully - otherwise the whole world could be in for some really tough times
22:40 February 11, 2011 by Ravioli
People are welcoming this right now but I wonder how welcoming they will be when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over and Egypt becomes an Islamic State which any fool knows is going to happen.
00:04 February 12, 2011 by Zala Russe
Mubarak is probably on his way to Sweden right now to buy up real estate from his offshore accounts, and to claim social security at the same time.
00:18 February 12, 2011 by BeHiNdScEnE
Next stop of Democratic Revolution train is in BAGHDAD!
00:20 February 12, 2011 by miss79
even he resign, is not over yet..he already appointed his allies that Omar guy..democracy wont come in 1 day..it takes time..
01:59 February 12, 2011 by reader in USA
Sweden, get ready! More Muslin refuges coming to Sweden for a free ride.
02:22 February 12, 2011 by dt804a
Here is a Swedish angle, as reported in a couple of recent articles published in http://swedenisrael.blogspot.com/

1. "Spy Stories: Aftonbladet Reporters Attacked, Held as Mossad Agents

In a recent article in Aftonbladet a writer from the paper recounts the harrowing story of two correspondents from the paper who were attacked by a mob, held by Egyptian authorities, and released. It seems that the correspondents were trying to get a story away from the action, but fell into it anyway. According to the report, they were rushed by a mob as they tried filming a woman scavenging for food in the garbage.

Generally, it sounds like a number of the reports coming out of Cairo. The "would you believe…" moment comes when the mob accuses the Aftonbladet correspondents of being Israeli Mossad spies."

2. "Carl Bildt's Barking Hypocrisy

An exemplar of the same "do as I say, not as I do" principle is Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt (Moderate Party). We have already shown that Bildt criticizes Israel for humanitarian abuses-such as building homes for Jews in the nation's capital. Yet Bildt is closely linked to Swedish oil company Lundin. Lundin's operations in Sudan were greatly aided by the local government's massacre of inconvenient rebel forces operating near drill sites.

As readers may recall, Sweden is the host country for the WikiLeaks database, and also plays host to pirate websites for the downloading of copyrighted materials. Sweden does this in the name of freedom of the press and information. Hypocritically, Sweden's monolithic TT wire service routinely edits out facts that contradict left-wing positions."
06:52 February 12, 2011 by UScitizen
I'm not taking side in this. I'm all for democracy and freedom. Dictatorship is wrong but mob rule won't solve problems either. I have a feeling that the democracy in Egypt will end up as another middle Eastern class war between the Shiites and Sunnis. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

And if the stability in the middle east (what little is left) is upset, will all these countries go against Israel? There's WW III starting. You can say what you want about the US and the wars it has been involve in. A lot of them were for political interest, some for economic interest, and that doesn't justify a war.

But the groups in the middle east, the Islamic people, want to kill others in other countries, as well as their own brothers, just because those others express a different belief. The Baptist don't try to kill off the Catholics or the Mormons or the Seventh Day Adventist people, with the exception of the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. I don't have the answer. Do any of you?
07:31 February 12, 2011 by hammad674
I warmly welcome the revolution brought by the people of egypt. It shows that governments cannot do what so ever they want once they are in power. They are elected by people and for the people and they should respect the emotions and desires of the public rather than their personal interest.

Bravo egyptian people !!!
08:13 February 12, 2011 by truthworthy
I am very happy for the Egyptian people. Muslim Brotherhood are not violent they are peaceful party, I would love to see them come to power through vote. that will be Awesome and a nightmare for the Zionist regime next door.
08:58 February 12, 2011 by calebian22

Why will it be a nightmare for the Zionists? Oh, right the Muslim Brotherhood are not a peaceful party. Only a terrorist or a fool would applaud the rise of these thugs. Which one are you?
13:32 February 12, 2011 by nolikegohome
now its time to open the doors to Gaza and send in food and medicines and building materials to the starving people there. Ofcourse this will happen very shortly no doubt perhaps it has already started. No more need to dig tunnels and get into confrontation via the sea. You can use the roads at your own convenience. Also a chance for better medical care for the sick in Gaza in Egypt.
14:20 February 12, 2011 by calebian22

No time like the present to supply Hamas with weaponry to use on civilians in Israel, right? If you actually think that Israel is going to allow an open border to Gaza through the Sinai you don't know your enemy very well. A "democratic" Egypt will likely result in a Middle Eastern war. No matter which side you support, the world economy will toilet dive as a result. Heja heja, Democracy!
14:40 February 12, 2011 by Swedesmith
The Muslim Brotherhood a peaceful party???? Yeah, right. Let's nominate them for the friggin Nobel prize.
15:16 February 12, 2011 by philster61
great.... more Muslims. Just what we need. Of course this "revolution" will create more refuggees into Europe. More Muslims, more extremists.
15:43 February 12, 2011 by Wortleberry
@ US citizen

"I have a feeling that the democracy in Egypt will end up as another middle Eastern class war between the Shiites and Sunnis."

For your information, there are only a handful of Shias in Egypt. Egyptians are Sunnis and about 10% are Christian. Christians and Muslims llve generally peacefully and came together during this revolution. Your feeling about this becoming a Shia-Sunni war is without foundation.

"But the groups in the middle east, the Islamic people, want to kill others in other countries, as well as their own brothers, just because those others express a different belief."

What exactly are you referring to here? Can you give me some examples? I have lived a lot in Arab countries, although I'm British and Christian myself. There are many different religious minorities living without problems in Arab countries, including Christians and Jews.
16:11 February 12, 2011 by dt804a
Reply to Wortleberry:

I dispute every statement in your comment. First, contrary to what you say, the Christians in Egypt, Copts to be specific, are and have been under constant attack. See for example BBC article entitled "Alexandria church bomb: Egypt police on high alert" (you can google to verify). Also check out Jihad Watch under "copts".

Second, contrary to your statement, the Brotherhood is a blood-shedding terrorist organization. Their Gaza affiliate, Hamas, has not only murdered Jews in Israel, but has murdered even their brethren from the Palestine Authority (PA). If you read the news then you know that during their coup d'etat in Gaza they murdered wounded PA troops and threw others off roofs to their deaths. Google these facts to verify.

Additionally, Hamas charter is explicit about destroying every last Jew - they are not talking only about Israel, but about every last Jew. Little wonder that almost 1,000,000 Jews fled Arab countries since 1948 - this too you can verify by googling.

Should you need further info, just ask me.
16:30 February 12, 2011 by Roger O. Thornhill
Bush's fault democracy; spreading in middle east, but the religion of peace will put that down.
16:34 February 12, 2011 by Querist

Funny that the 'Egyptian Street' owes their successful ouster (Mubarek) to an American Jew named Mark Zuckerberg!

Long live the 'Facebook Revolutions' in the Middle East!

17:13 February 12, 2011 by conboy
Bildt is a cynical scumbag no doubt he will prattle on about "democracy" but only when his and Rheinfelds bosses give the go ahead in Washington...
17:26 February 12, 2011 by Wortleberry
Reply to dt804a

I take your point. I just want to differentiate between Arabs and extremists. You have described the actions of extremists and not the vast majority of Arabs.

I lived in Cairo for 11 years and had and still have many Coptic friends. From my experience, I cannot relate to your statement, "the Christians in Egypt, Copts to be specific, are and have been under constant attack". My friends live quite happily in Egypt, getting on with their lives. That terrible bombing of the church in Alexandria was carried out by extremists. We do not know who carried out the bombing. Yes, there have been unjustified one-off attacks against Christians from time to time. Abominable though they are, they are the exception not the rule - and condemned by the vast majority of Egyptian Moslems.
17:55 February 12, 2011 by laura ka baal
@reader in USA

Sweden Beware ,More Tax for Sweden and increase in economy,which is very hard to digest.

Yhank God the pimp of america,Mubarak is no more.
20:01 February 12, 2011 by hammad674
I dont understand why world called every muslim country as extremist ? Extremist are found in every country which can be a result of any anti gov or social policy. As the western huge media is captured by American & jews so they shows the world what they want to. Why dont they show the bombarment and killing of innocent civilian in palestine, kashmir, afghanistan and pakistan where they kill 1000s of civilians in drons just to finish 100s of extremist militant which they still havnt achieved, do they excEpt them to put flowers on them for such act ? Why they punished dr.Aafia sidiqui who hasnt killed anyone accused of attacking fbi agents without any forensic evidence against her. There is no voice against it in western media except few human right activists. What American intelligence companies doing in pakistan, afganistan etc and killing civilians, recently raymond davis whose identity is not yet cleared (probabally a detective) killed 2 pakistanies at public place and then claims immunity, and US claims his immediate return while showing no repect to local law. Where as en embassider killed an american by an accident and american government have processed him according to their law and punished him inspite of immunity the embassider hadzccoding to geniva convention.

What about 9/11 inside job just for their personal interest and attacking afghans, what about iraq, suspected them for having neuclear bomb and when nothing found say sorry, reason just to caputer oil reserve and many more example like these. Why is the differnce in following international law. Does such activities make them civilized and expect muslim to be silenced forever. When people loses hope for justics yes they become terrorist, every action has a reaction and terrorists are reaction of everything done to innocent civilian muslims in the world.

Muslims are not against american , jew or western public but their governments because they are playing dirty politics.
21:45 February 12, 2011 by calebian22

You need stronger meds.
01:00 February 13, 2011 by iona
I was so happy when the tankers turned their turrets to one side away from the demonstrators. Everyone knew then that Mubarak was history.
05:11 February 13, 2011 by hammad674

You need a stronger mind and heart to listen and digest the truth.
08:32 February 13, 2011 by calebian22

Conspiracy theorists need medication. That is truth.
09:09 February 14, 2011 by loudasthunder
@ reader in USA

Spot-on : )


The only "Good" ones, are the ones in the eyes of I/s/l/a/m that are no longer here, meaning that there terrorist plot succeeded. Religion of Peace? You dudes sure make a hard sell. Your 'brothers' are almost as good at lies, as US politicians.

So You keep preaching that I/s/l/a/m is a good thing, It's only good for killing non-belivers.

You are right about one thing however, 911 was indeed an inside job staged by the US govt' to justify an invasion for Oil. I don't support the effort, and by the way, where are those WMD's Mr. Bush? However, I do support the total wipeout of all m/u/s/l/i/m/s from the face of the earth.

Not only would the mid east be a large oil producer, but also the worlds largest seller of 'Nuked' desert glass,

Know m_slims... NO Peace.

NO m_slims... Know Peace.

Now, You'll excuse Me, I have some Bacon in the frying pan for My BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich).
12:08 February 14, 2011 by hammad674
Sorry to say but i am not preaching Islam or defending muslims here, you guys still believe on western media to know islam - i just questions one, that did ever the rival provides the true or friendly information, No. So if you want to know islam search yourself rather than depending information on your fav news channel.

As for your information, Islam doesn't support extremism. Even in Quran it is written that whoever will kill an innocent man, that is equallant of killing all human mankind and will face the consequences. Suicide whatever shape it takes, even suicide bombing is haram (strongly prohibited) according to Islam and those are not true muslim or i must say they goes outside islam circle when conduct such dirty acts, I and every muslim hates such acts against innocent civilians.

And one thing more to clearify you, that Islam support jihaad (standing against cruality) only in battle field against some army when arrises some criticle situation. And even in battle field muslim are prohibited to attach women, children and old age people. So islam doesnt support killing of innocent. So keep your fact right by researhing yourself Rather depending on so called media. And beleive it or not it is fastest growing religion in the world even in the west, inspite of media falsification. Its also prohibited in islam to force someone to become muslim so all are volunteers. So, its never âso easy to wipe out islam or muslims.

I am not defending islam or muslims here, just wiping out the dusty mirror to look clearly.
13:57 February 14, 2011 by Uncle
Ooof, Hamad, you are stepping on a minefield here.

The secret of muslim success in targeted execution of civilians (Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, Northern Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Chad, Nigeria) is the simple fact that there is no innocent kafir. Therefore every kafir (3 days or 102 year old) is inherently not innocent and could be targeted with the blessing of Allah and 72 virgins.

In addition, your statements about jihad are incorrect, as Mohammad himself declared captured in a tower few christians as subjects of extermination without remorse.

Now, perhaps Hamad is much better in Quran that Hommeini, but the latter encouraged mine fields clearing with civilian human beings for example.

As for forcing to become muslims... There are certain laws in peaceful and loving muslim "democratic" states that forbid conversion into some OTHER religion with the penalty of death.

And believe it or not, Nazism spread in Germany of the 20's and 30's MUCH faster than Islam is spreading now. According to your logic - nazism is a wonderful thing then.

Hope there are no more questions here, since the dust is completely off the mirror.

truthworthy - no problemo. I am FOR Egyptians canceling peace accords for which they got back Sinai with oil and gas fields. This will only show once again the risk of signing a contract with any muslim, as well as freeze any peace process with the egyptians and jordanians that call themselves palestinians for the next 100 years. Perhaps when they cancel the peace accords, the west will finally understand whom they are dealing with and stand on the side of the western and modern country in this bucket of ... called Middle East.
16:54 February 14, 2011 by hammad674
I explained earlier that extremist found everywhere and they are part of anti policies, they are not muslim when conducts dirty act of killing innocents. You cannot trust anything that comes in media, because media is often biased if you talk about free media also.

All need to know the history first before judging sometging, if B kills A's brother and then A kills B's

Brother and then B claims only that A kills his brother while ignoring the history, will you just believe o that. This is what western media doing just presenting their story. Do you know how many civilians killed in afganistan, pakistan, kashmir in order to remove extremist. There are more deaths of civilians than extrimist. by this they are actually not reducing extremist but mulitiplying it. Because civilians now can easily converted to extremist by extremist themselve by brainwashing them. The only way to remove extremist is dialog process.

Now debate finish .... No more comments, we are not here to fight upon islam, cheristianity, jewism. Sorry if i offended someone.
19:53 February 14, 2011 by Uncle
Hehe, as I said earlier, the methods of muslims is to back out from any argument or to start threatening. How predictable.

I just LOVE to argue with people like hammad because they are a) predictable and b) provide arguments against themselves.

So we, the westerners do not understand history? Do you even realize how medieval you are? Do you realize that by JUSTIFYING constant killings by muslims you erase this fake perception as if there is a moderate Islam and show that there is ONLY extreme Islam?

So on one hand, it is not allowed to kill innocents, but it is allowed to kill the brother of the person who killed my brother, then what is it if not allowance to kill innocents? And if he does not have a brother? Should I kill his unsuspecting kid? And then scream that media does not understand my motives?

And if I am a distant relative of a killer, should I shake out of my pants because the vendetta will come eventually to me? You (you as religion representatives) ARE as medieval as Baybars and probably have the same perception of the world.

You blame western media, hammad? So from what media do you get the info? From muslim one? Isn't 100% of all muslim media controlled by dictatorships? I would definitely scrutinize the info that you get from there.

Start freaking THINKING...
00:08 February 16, 2011 by loudasthunder
@ Uncle


These losers either blow sh*t up, or back down like cowards they are...

Oh, wait a minute, I was being redundant, 'Cowards' seems to cover it all : )
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