Senators React to Mubarak Announcement

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt “resigned his post and turned over all power to the military on Friday, ending his nearly 30 years of autocratic rule and bowing to a historic popular uprising that has transformed politics in Egypt and around the Arab world,” the New York Times reports today.

Here are some excerpts from various press release* statements issued in response:

  • Bill Nelson (D-FL): “The latest development in Egypt is truly monumental.  President Mubarak rightly honored the Egyptian people’s calls for freedom.  All nations must now support an orderly, peaceful transition to democracy.”
  • Harry Reid (D-NV): “I am pleased that President Mubarak has heard and heeded the voice of the Egyptian people, who have called for change. It is crucial that Mubarak’s departure be an orderly one and that it leads to true democracy for Egypt, including free, fair and open elections.”
  • Mark Udall (D-CO): “President Mubarak has finally heard the voices of the Egyptian people and relinquished his 30-year hold on power, after 18 days of peaceful protests.  As Egyptians celebrate their freedom tonight, we celebrate this moment with them.” 
  • Ben Cardin (D-MD): “President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to step down immediately is a positive step towards a meaningful transition that meets the expectations of those who have sought to express their freedoms in Cairo and across Egypt during the past few weeks.”
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): “This is a historic moment for Egypt and a crossroads. I am glad Hosni Mubarak has listened to the demands of his people and has stepped down. The United States stands in support of the people of Egypt as they demand their civil and human rights.”
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL): “This is an historic moment for Egypt and the Middle East.  For perhaps the first time in its long history, Egypt’s government has listened to and heeded its people’s legitimate demands for greater freedoms and an end to corruption.  This is an opportunity for the Egyptian people to chart a new, more hopeful and democratic future.”
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “This has been a painful process for the Egyptian people, and I welcome President Mubarak’s decision to step down. Egypt is undergoing a generational political change, and at this point no one can say for sure what the outcome will be.”
  • John McCain (R-AZ): “I applaud President Mubarak’s decision to step down. This was obviously a very difficult decision for President Mubarak, but it is the right decision for Egypt.  History will note that President Mubarak’s last action in office was in the best interest of the country he loves.”
  • John Kerry (D-MA): “This is an extraordinary moment for Egypt. Courageous and peaceful demands for freedom and opportunity have now won the Egyptian people a chance at a new beginning.”
  • Mark Begich (D-AK): “I am pleased that President Mubarak has finally listened to the Egyptian people and allowed them to move one step closer to freedom and democracy. I hope the transition in the coming weeks will be free of violence and that all sides will come together to build a better future for the Egyptian people.”
  • Chris Coons (D-DE): “The people of Egypt declared loudly and clearly their desire for democracy, economic opportunity, and greater freedom, demanding a free, fair, and transparent democratic government. It is my hope that those dreams will soon be realized. With his resignation today, President Mubarak has recognized and respected this truly historic moment in Egypt’s history.”
  • Susan Collins (R-ME): “The unrelenting determination of the Egyptian people to bring about change in their government has been extraordinary.  Today marks the beginning of a transition to what we hope will be a democratically elected government in Egypt that is accountable to the people.”
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): “Today, the world is witnessing an incredible moment for freedom and liberty as President Mubarak leaves office. Now Egypt’s leaders must emerge and take concerted steps that will result in a stable, orderly transition to a real democratic society that fosters prosperity for its people and peace with its neighbors.”
  • Michael Bennet (D-CO): “Today, with President Mubarak’s decision to step down after nearly 30 years in power, the strength of the Egyptian collective call for freedom and democracy has been affirmed.”
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): “Now that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, I hope his regime will be succeeded by a strong secular government that gives individual rights to the citizens of Egypt and adheres to the standards of democracy and rule of law.”
  • Jim Risch (R-ID): “I applaud the Egyptian people for the courage to exercise their right to speak freely and the peacefulness of their demonstrations.  This is a historic moment in Egypt and shows that, even in the Middle East, people desire freedom.”
  • Joe Lieberman (ID-CT): “President Mubarak’s decision to step down today marks the beginning of an extraordinary new chapter in the history of a great and ancient nation – a hopeful chapter that the people of Egypt, through peaceful and courageous protest, have secured the freedom and opportunity to write for themselves.”
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Egyptian President Mubarak’s decision to step aside was the right thing to do.  I hope his resignation allows healing to begin and Egypt to move toward free, open, and transparent democratic elections.”
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “What we hope is that whatever the successor government is, it doesn’t abrogate the treaty with Israel and doesn’t become an ally of Iran and still has a pro-Western feel.”
  • Tom Udall (D-NM): “Today we stand with the people of Egypt as they make their first steps towards democracy. I am mindful of the hard work ahead, including the need to assure a peaceful transition with free and fair elections.”

* – McConnell’s quote originated from his appearance at a University of Louisville event today and was not part of an official release.

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