Skip to main content

Cheney calls Mubarak a good friend, U.S. ally

By the CNN Wire Staff
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Egyptians will decide Hosni Mubarak's fate as the country's leader.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Egyptians will decide Hosni Mubarak's fate as the country's leader.
  • Cheney speaks at a ceremony honoring former President Ronald Reagan
  • Egyptian protesters are pledging to stay on the streets until Hosni Mubarak steps down

(CNN) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a good friend and U.S. ally, but declined to predict whether the embattled leader would heed protesters' calls to step down.

Cheney made the comments Saturday night at a ceremony honoring former President Ronald Reagan in Santa Barbara, California.

Protesters have pledged to stay on the streets of Egyptian cities until Hosni Mubarak relinquishes power. Mubarak, who has led the north African nation for three decades, has said he will stay in power until September, and will not run for re-election.

Cheney said the Egyptian leader should be treated with respect.

US envoy: Mubarak should stay, for now
Clinton: US supports Egypt transition plan

"He has been a good man, a good friend and ally to the United States," Cheney said. "We need to remember that."

The former vice president declined to predict whether Mubarak would step down.

"I don't want to make a prediction because I don't know," Cheney said. "But I also think there comes a time for everybody when it's time to hang it up and move on and someone else will take over."

Massive demonstrations have been held in Egyptian cities since January 25 to demand an end to Mubarak's rule.

Cheney said Egyptians will decide his fate as leader.

"In the end, whatever comes next in Egypt is going to be determined by the people of Egypt," he said.

Part of complete coverage on
'Sons of Mubarak' in plea for respect
Pro-Mubarak supporters believe Egypt's former president is innocent of charges of corruption and killing protesters.
Timeline of the conflict in Libya
Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a nationwide civil war.
Who are these rebels?
After months of seeming stalemate, Libyan rebels declared they were moving in on Tripoli. But who are they?
Why NATO's Libya mission has shifted
Six months and more than 17,000 air sorties after it began, NATO's Operation Unified Protector in the skies over Libya grinds on.
Interactive map: Arab unrest
Click on countries in CNN's interactive map to see the roots of their unrest and where things stand today.
Send your videos, stories
Are you in the Middle East or North Africa? Send iReport your images. Don't do anything that could put you at risk.
Libya through Gadhafi's keyhole
Behind the official smiles for the cameras some people in Libya's capital are waiting for the rebels, reports CNN's Ivan Watson.
How Arab youth found its voice
Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi not only ignited a series of revolts but heralded the first appearance of Arab youth on the stage of modern history.