White House Calls For Free And Fair Elections In Egypt

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments, after Egypt's Mubarak appointed new government in bid to curb protests.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments, after Egypt's Mubarak appointed new government in bid to curb protests. The White House called for free and fair elections in Egypt on Monday, but stopped short of saying whether the U.S. believes President Hosni Mubarak should run in those contests.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed Mubarak's move Monday to appoint a new government, saying the situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments. Mubarak named a new government over the weekend in an apparent attHe did make a point to say that change in leadership in Egypt wasn't for the U.S. to determine.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have flooded the streets of Egypt, calling for his ouster. The protesters have shown no sign of slowing down, saying they will continue to demonstrate until Mubarak, who has ruled the country for over three decades, leaves office. Gibbs added during his press conference that the crisis in Egypt should be settled by meaningful talks among a broad cross-section of the country, and the United States is not taking sides between the people in the street and those in the government.

The  in Cairo has not been in contact with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei this week, Gibbs said. Egypt's government put ElBaradei on house arrest after he returned to the country amid the protests.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has called on Egypt to not use violence against the protesters but has been careful not to criticize Mubarak, an important U.S. ally in the region, too harshly. empt to defuse the week-long political upheaval in his country.

Ha'aretz