Obama tells Mubarak not to stand again: reports
US president Barack Obama has told his beleaguered Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, not to stand for re-election in upcoming September elections, the New York Times reports.
The message from Mr Obama was conveyed by former US ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner who was dispatched to Cairo on Monday by the US administration, the US daily said, quoting American diplomats.
"Mr Wisner's message, they said, was not a blunt demand for Mr Mubarak to step aside now, but firm counsel that he should make way for a reform process that would culminate in free and fair elections in September to elect a new Egyptian leader," the Times wrote.
The paper added that the back channel message had been authorised directly by Mr Obama, who yesterday called a high-level White House meeting of his national security team to address the fast-evolving crisis.
It would appear to signal that the administration is withdrawing support from one of its closest regional allies.