Foreign Minister Bildt

"No doubt Egypt is heading for a new president"

The response from the Egyptian president Mubarak on Friday evening is not enough, the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tells news agency TT.

"He will have to be much more concrete about the reform agenda in the time ahead, I believe it is the presidential election later this year that will prove absolutely decisive for how things develop in Egypt: who the candidates will be and what the conditions are for the election itself."

Bildt, currently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, notes that it is still unsure how long Mubarak is prepared to stay on, but says "there is no doubt that Egypt is, in one way or the other, moving towards a new president. The question is when, how and who. The way things are developing now makes it even more important to clarify this." Bildt tells TT.

He expresses concern over the violence reported from Egypt and says that, in addition to the tragedy in lives lost, it is also "deeply worrying" from a political perspective.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, also in Davos, urges Mubarak to meet the protesters with reform and open up for "what people perceive is correct, open and free elections". He tells Swedish Radio News that, fundamentally, the people in Cairo are on a route where the whole world is heading "as growth spreads to more countries, when economies become stronger, then the pressure increases for it to include and for it to be sustainable".

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