NZ still taking hands off position on Mubarak

I asked Foreign Minister Murray McCully

during Parliament’s question time

: “Why is he not calling for the immediate resignation of Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s President?”

Murray McCully essentially said don’t worry, Mr Mubarak will stand down in September and “a transition in Egyptian leadership is underway”.

I pointed out that Nobel Peace Prize winner and democratic campaigner

Mohammed ElBaradei

was less optimistic about this transition, and quoted him as saying that “Mubarak is the symbol of an outgoing regime…if he doesn’t leave the regime will retrench and come back – with vengeance.”

ElBaradei has been out on the streets with the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators. Pushed to respond these demonstrators’ demand that Mubarak go now, McCully simply “note[d] the demonstrations the Member refers to”. But he was clearly more interested in the supposed “transition” that had begun in the halls of power.

I suggested that behind McCully’s reluctance to call for Mubarak to resign was a hesitancy to take a stance which differed from the United States government, but Mr McCully did not confirm this.

Finally, Mr McCully joined

John Key in giving credit to Mubarak

for supposedly helping keep peace in the Middle East. The people of Gaza might not see it exactly the same way. Mubarak’s regime has stopped essential supplies from reaching them.

According to

Wikileaks files

, Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s new vice-president is an Israeli agent who spoke daily to Tel Aviv on a secret hotline. Suleiman “wanted Hamas ‘isolated’, and thought Gaza should ‘go hungry but not starve’.

Omar Suleiman is guiding the “transition” that Mr McCully talks about. Unfortunately, our Foreign Minister has more confidence in the Suleimans of this world that the ordinary folk turning up in Tahrir Square each day to demand an end to the regime.