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Mubarak should go now, says Turkish PM Erdoğan

ANKARA - From wire dispatches | 2/2/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's pledge to stand down in September is not enough and he should go immediately, Turkish PM Erdoğan said Wednesday.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s pledge to stand down in September is not enough and he should go immediately, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday.

“The [Egyptian] people expect a very different decision from Mubarak,” Erdoğan told Turkish journalists during a visit to Kyrgyzstan, the news channel NTV reported.

“The current administration does not inspire trust so far as the democratic change wanted by the population is concerned,” he added.

On Tuesday, Erdoğan urged the 82-year-old Mubarak to meet his people’s “desire for change” as he voiced support for democratic reform in the entire Middle East.

The Turkish prime minister also postponed a visit to Egypt scheduled for Feb. 8-9 because of the situation there.

The embattled Mubarak announced late Tuesday that he had never intended to run for another term in office, following days of protests against his rule that have left an estimated 300 people dead and more than 3,000 injured.

But his announcement drew angry jeers from thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square who again defied an overnight curfew.

[HH] Erdoğan in Kyrgyzstan

Erdoğan meanwhile said during his trip to Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday that Turkey and Turkic republics had the power and will to build a strong Eurasia again.

The Turkish leader met with Kyrgyzstan’s parliament speaker, Ahkmatbek Keldibekov, in Bishkek and later addressed the Kyrgyz parliament. He also attended a ceremony in Bishkek to inaugurate the new chancellery building of the Turkish Embassy and addressed the Turkish-Kyrgyz Business Forum.

During his speech at the parliament, Erdoğan said Turkey and Kyrgyzstan were two separate states but one nation and that their citizens had the same ancestors.

“Despite the distance between us, our hearts beat with our brothers in this region, and especially with the Kyrgyz people,” Erdoğan said.

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Compiled from Agence France-Presse and Anatolia news agency reports by Daily News staff.

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