Reports from the New York Times say that the Obama Administration is engaged in talks regarding an exit-strategy for longstanding ally and increasingly unpopular dictator Hosni Mubarak, and that right now, eyes are on newly appoint Vice President Omar Suleiman as the new ruler of a “transitional government.”
The proposal would have Suleiman seize power in the country with the support of Egypt’s military and “begin the process of constitutional reform.” Suleiman has been publicly praising Mubarak as “father and leader” of Egypt and insists that all true Egyptians are supporting his continued rule.
This leaves the question of whether Suleiman would be willing to abandon Mubarak and seize power for himself, whether on an interim basis or not. Suleiman has been angrily condemning the protesters and blaming “foreigners” for the unrest.
Suleiman has been the leader of Egypt’s Intelligence Directorate for decade, and has close ties to the military as well as established ties to the US. This apparently makes him a suitable choice for the US for an interim leader, but with rampant speculation that the US is still hoping to salvage the Egyptian dictatorship under a different dictator, he may also be the most concerning candidate possible, one who might readily shed the “interim” label once the protesters are placated.