President Barack Obama talks on the phone with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in the Oval Office, Jan. 28, 2011. Vice President Joe Biden listens at left, and the President’s National Security team confer in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
BBC: Why Egypt Matters – If Egyptian unrest turns into an Egyptian revolution, the implications for the Arab world – and for Western policy in the Middle East – will be immense.
Egypt matters, in a way that tiny Tunisia – key catalyst that it has been in the current wave of protest – does not. It matters because its destiny affects, in a range of ways, not only Arab interests but Israeli, Iranian and Western interests, too.
Egypt, the most populous Arab state, can help determine the thrust of Arab policies – whether towards Israel or Iran or in the perennial quest for Arab consensus on issues that matter.
Above all, the Egyptian state has traditionally had a strength and solidity that made its collapse seem unthinkable.
President Barack Obama discusses the situation in Egypt with Vice President Joe Biden and the national security team during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, Jan. 28, 2011. Attending the briefing, clockwise from the President are: National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Robert Cardillo, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)