[QODLink]
Europe
Berlusconi: Mubarak is a wise man
Italy's PM says he hopes there can be a transition to democracy in Egypt without a "break" from the president.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2011 20:53 GMT
Berlusconi's comments came as hundreds of thousands protested against the rule of Hosni Mubarak [GALLO/GETTY]

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has described Egypt's president as a "wise man" and called for continuity in the country's government.

"I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from president [Hosni] Mubarak, who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point," he said.

"I hope there can be continuity in government," he told reporters on Friday.

His comments came as hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters continued to rally in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, and in Alexandria, Egypt's second city, calling for Mubarak to stand down.

However, the Italian leader's aides said Berlusconi did not mean Mubarak should remain in office, rather that he "would like to see someone like Mubarak at the head of the country".

Berlusconi's remarks come a day after he and four other European leaders said they were "extremely concerned" about the situation in Egypt, and called for a rapid transition towards a "broadly representative government".

The European Union's 27 leaders discussed the situation in Egypt at a one-day summit held in Brussels, the Belgian capital, on Friday.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Polio remains endemic in Pakistan as health workers battle anti-vaccine prejudice and threat to life by armed groups.
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.