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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mubarak is out and Florida shares in the celebration

11

February

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. "The people ousted the president," chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo. (more from AP here)

Floirda politicians were quick to express support.

Sen. Bill Nelson, among the first to call for Mubarak to step down, said the president "rightly honored the Egyptian people’s calls for freedom. All nations must now support an orderly, peaceful transition to democracy. We hope the first steps of the new government will be to guarantee free and fair elections as soon as possible, while also keeping the peace with all of Egypt’s neighbors including Israel."

Rep. Jeff Miller, a Panhandle Republican, said: "It is important now to focus on a peaceful transition of power and to getting the crowds of protesters back to their homes without incident. Egypt is a critical ally in the region and I am concerned this could create an opportunity for a more radical or sinister regime."

Sen. Marco Rubio: “This is an historic moment for Egypt and the Middle East. For perhaps the first time in its long history, Egypt’s government has listened to and heeded its people’s legitimate demands for greater freedoms and an end to corruption. This is an opportunity for the Egyptian people to chart a new, more hopeful and democratic future. Today’s events should hearten those struggling for greater freedom and respect for human rights in our own Hemisphere.

“Egypt is a key US partner and we must give our full support to ensure an irreversible and nonviolent transition to genuine democracy. It is imperative that a new Egypt continues to honor its commitment to regional peace and security in the Middle East, especially to its neighbor Israel.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “The Egyptian military can continue to play a constructive role in providing for security and stability during this transformational period. The U.S. and our allies must focus our efforts on helping to create the necessary conditions for such a transition to take place.  We must also urge the unequivocal rejection of any involvement by the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists who may seek to exploit and hijack these events to gain power, oppress the Egyptian people, and do great harm to Egypt’s relationship with the United States, Israel, and other free nations.”

[Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011 1:21pm]

    

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