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Senior Russian MP Warns Against Egyptian President's Resignation

Hosni Mubarak and Barack Hussein Obama IIMoscow, 3 February: The chairman of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, thinks that Egyptian President Husni Mubarak's immediate resignation would be extremely dangerous.

"For all its obvious flaws, President Mubarak's regime has been and remains an important stabilizing factor in the Middle East. His immediate resignation under pressure from the street will not end the confrontation but will only exacerbate it, because in that case different political forces, which are ready to unite now, would be fragmented, which would lead to even more chaos with a possible bloodbath," Kosachev told Interfax.

In his opinion, now it is very important to stabilize the situation so that the political platforms of each force seeking power are fully clarified by the autumn presidential election, so that people can make their choice.

"I think that the most likely scenario after Mubarak's resignation is the one that happened in the Gaza Strip (Palestine), where the political organization Hamas, known for its radicalism, came to power through free and democratic elections. Something similar may happen in Egypt, in Tunisia, as well as in the countries where similar disturbances could theoretically begin - Jordan, Syria and Algeria," Kosachev said.

He considers it extremely important that so far the Egyptian armed forces have been maintaining neutrality. "The position of the army is the main factor now and, apparently, it is not taking any sides, staying in the middle. This is the optimal option, because using armed subunits against protesters, or using them to overthrow the government, would be equally fraught with greater chaos, with unpredictable consequences," the parliamentarian stressed.

He thinks that the best solution in this situation would be to wait for the autumn election. "I think that the international community should urge Egyptian society to maintain the situation, because President Mubarak has already made concessions by announcing his readiness to step down after the upcoming presidential election," Kosachev noted.

According to him, now it is unacceptable to put any external pressure on the conflicting sides. "External influence on the situation in Egypt is probably minimal at the moment. Because the situation there is quite different from disturbances in other countries that happened in the previous years," Kosachev noted.

The main difference is that the current serious conflict in Egypt has been caused "not by rival political forces, whose leaders could be somehow influenced to reach some agreement. This is a conflict between the authorities on the one hand and the street crowd on the other. And whatever the international community does now, it is practically impossible to deal with this crowd".

Kosachev thinks that the parallels drawn by some politicians and experts between the current situation in Egypt and the "colour revolutions" in the post-Soviet space are completely invalid.

"During the 'colour revolutions' in the post-Soviet space, external organizing factors were clearly traced, while the situation in Egypt is not in the interests of any major geopolitical player, be it the United States, the European Union, Israel, Arab countries, Russia and others", Kosachev stressed.

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