Egypt crisis: Obama holds meeting with security team

Egypt crisis: Obama holds meeting with security team

"He reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt," the White House yesterday said in a statement.

The US President was updated on the current situation in Egypt during the meeting that lasted for about an hour.

Vice-President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and his deputy Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, National Security Advisor to Vice-President Tony Blinken and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes were present at the meeting.

Senior Director for the Central Region Dennis Ross, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Dan Shapiro, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Senior Advisor David Plouffe also attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, news reports said protestors have taken to the streets across Egypt demanding the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "Tens of thousands of Egyptians are once again defying the overnight curfew and have taken to the streets to vent their fury," the Voice of America reported.

Obama, who spoke to Mubarak for 30 minutes on Friday, had called on the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protestors.

"The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere," he had said in a statement.

The US President spoke with his Egyptian counterpart after the latter addressed to the nation, in which he ordered the resignation of his entire cabinet.

Obama had also called on the Egyptian government to restore services of Internet and cellphones, which were earlier suspended following the protests.