Facing political pressure from President Obama and others in the United States and abroad, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Tuesday he will not seek another term.
Speaking on Egyptian state television, Mubarak said he would set elections, but not be a candidate in those elections. He said he would take the next few months to organize a peaceful transition of power.
His announcement comes after Frank Wisner, the special envoy dispatched by Obama to Cairo, communicated to Mubarak the president's wish that he not run again and allow democratic elections to take place.
Mubarak had come under intense international pressure to step down and begin transferring power, falling in line with the demands that Wisner reportedly delivered Tuesday.
Obama was to meet with his senior national security team at 3:30 p.m. and had discussed the matter with his cabinet this morning, too.
"With regard to Egypt, Secretary Clinton discussed our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people," the White House said in a readout of that Cabinet meeting.
Sen. John KerryJohn KerryTwenty-four countries say global net-zero goal will fuel inequality Queen Elizabeth recognizes Kerry from video message: 'I saw you on the telly' Fossil fuel production must be cut in half to control global warming: study MORE (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tuesday morning called for a similar transition process in Egypt.
On Obama's reported call for Mubarak not to run again, Kerry told The Hill Tuesday afternoon: "Obviously I support that. It's the right thing to do."
As the matters unfolded, Obama received additional Republican backing from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.).
"I think, with regard to what's going on in the Middle East, my view is America ought to speak with one voice," he said Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill. "And we have one president and one secretary of state, and I think they ought to speak for America with regard to the crisis in the Middle East."
Jordy Yager contributed.
This post was first published at 3:02 p.m.