Stepping up pressure on a stalwart but flawed Middle East ally, President Barack Obama said Friday night he had personally told Egypt's long-time leader to take "concrete steps" to expand rights inside the Arab nation and refrain from violence against protesters flooding through the streets of Cairo and elsewhere.
"Surely, there will be difficult days to come, but the United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free and more hopeful," Obama said.
The president made his comments shortly after he and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak spoke by telephone.
The conversation followed closely on a televised speech in which Mubarak, in Cairo, announced he was sacking his government to form a new one that would accelerate reforms. At the same time, he said, violence by protesters would not be tolerated.
This program aired on January 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.