Spain calls for early elections in Egypt
Egypt's rulers should appease the opposition protesters pressing for President Hosni Mubark's departure by calling an early election, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said in comments published Sunday.
Egypt "could find a way to answer the legitimate aspirations of the citizens, if the authorities made a gesture and brought forward to the month of June the elections scheduled for September," she told Spain's El Mundo.
Mubarak has said he will not run for re-election but has so far refused demands to step down immediately, saying he feels he must stay on until the September presidential election to ensure stability.
The 82-year-old president has ruled the country for 29 years.
"Egypt is a more complex, bigger country, where it is going to be harder to reach an agreement than it was in Tunisia," she added.
Opponents of Mubarak's embattled regime held talks with Vice President Omar Suleiman Sunday, but dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans and renewed their calls for the president to go.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters are still occupying central Cairo's now iconic Tahrir Square.
© 2011 AFP