Hague in call over Egypt government

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Protesters gather in Tahrir Square, Cairo, calling for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to stand down (AP)

Egypt needs to have “broad-based government” that will allow an “orderly transition” in the country, William Hague has told MPs.

The Foreign Secretary said he would be speaking to the country’s vice-president Omar Suleiman and would voice the Government’s desire to see a “broad-based government”.

At question time in the Commons Mr Hague was asked by Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, about the prospects for the Middle East peace process following the unfolding situation in Egypt.

Mr Hague told MPs Egypt had played a “positive and moderating role” in the region over 30 years. It was of “paramount importance” Egypt continued to play such a role.

He added: “We are engaging with politicians of many different views in Egypt at the moment.

“I spoke to the foreign minister on Sunday night and I hope to speak to the vice- president shortly after this question time to encourage Egypt to have the broad-based government and real and visible change that will allow an orderly transition in Egypt.

“This will then help not only the domestic aspirations of the Egyptian people, but it will help Egypt to play the role in foreign policy that it has played in recent decades.”

Mr Hague said the Government welcomed Vice President Omar Suleiman’s statement that he intended to contact opposition parties to discuss political reform.

“But the new cabinet appointed by President Mubarak this week is disappointing in that it does not constitute the broad-based representative government that the people of Egypt seem to be seeking and we continue to make this clear to the Egyptian authorities,” he said.

Mr Hague told MPs that the Foreign Office will send a charter flight to Egypt on Wednesday to help stranded Britons, with further flights on standby if necessary.

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