US secretary of state stresses need for orderly transition headed by vice-president
by Julian Borger in Munich
The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton today signalled how far the US has swung its support behind vice-president Omar Suleiman and the transition process he is leading in Egypt.
Clinton was speaking at a security conference in Munich today, where the watchword on Egypt was the need for orderly transition.
In her most striking remarks, the US secretary of state said: "There are forces at work in any society, particularly one that is facing these kind of challenges, that will try to derail or overtake the process to pursue their own agenda, which is why I think it's important to follow the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed by vice-president Omar Suleiman."
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Egypt Vice President Omar Suleiman: Extraordinary Rendition Coordinator for CIA
Omar Suleiman, was the coordinator of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, according to journalist Jane Mayer's investigative book "The Dark Side."
Appointed as the "first step for transfer of power," according to sources within Mubarak's ruling party, Suleiman had served as the head of Egyptian central intelligence until being tapped for vice president on Saturday.
Extraordinary rendition is an extrajudicial procedure in which suspected terrorists are transferred illegally to a country that is known to use torture during interrogation. The United States was widely accused of using such renditions during the War on Terror from 2001-2006.
The appointment of Suleiman - and new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq - has led many analysts and protesters to question the extent to which regime change will actually come about in Egypt.
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