Cameron and Obama discuss Egypt


Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Cairo (AP)

David Cameron has discussed the crisis in Egypt with US president Barack Obama after a flight carrying Britons fleeing the stricken country touched down in the UK.

The Foreign Office chartered-flight arrived at Gatwick Airport at around 9pm on Saturday, with around 70 ex-pats and tourists on board.

As the Britons fled the country, Mr Cameron and Mr Obama spoke on the telephone to reaffirm their desire for the transition to a “broad-based” government to begin immediately.

A Downing St spokesman said: “They agreed that it was vital that the Egyptian government respond to the aspirations of the Egyptian people through reform not repression. Violence was unacceptable.

“The Prime Minister welcomed the restraint shown by the army in policing the most recent protests.

“The leaders agreed that it was for the Egyptian people to determine the leadership of their country. But they were clear that an orderly transition to a broad-based government, with real, visible and meaningful change needed to start now.

“The Prime Minister said that a clear and credible roadmap to change was needed as soon as possible, including a path to free and fair elections.

“They agreed to keep in close touch in the coming days.”

Earlier, in an apparent change of tone, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton warned that without orderly change, extremists could derail the transfer of power.

She said: “It’s important to support the transition process announced by the Egyptian government actually headed by now-vice president Omar Suleiman.”

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