Russia asks ElBaradei to find way out of Egypt crisis
Russia has asked leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei to "look for a way out of the crisis" in Egypt after nearly two weeks of massive anti-government protests, a diplomat here said Saturday.
"A call on the need to find a way out of the crisis through constructive dialogue has been transmitted to one of the leaders of the opposition, Mohamed ElBaradei, via our embassy in Cairo," the diplomat said, in remarks cited by the Ria Novosty agency.
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, ElBaradei has emerged as one of the leaders of the movement seeking to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The demand was made following telephone discussions Thursday between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his embattled Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, during which Medvedev urged a peaceful resolution to th crisis, the Kremlin said.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a "dialogue" among the parties to resolve the Egyptian standoff.
"It is absolutely clear that things cannot continue like this," Lavrov said from Munich, where he was attending an international security conference.
He spoke a day after Moscow criticised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's calls for change in Egypt as being overtly political.
Analysts say the uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world present Moscow with a stark choice on how to revive its waning influence in the Middle East.
If the unrest ushers in an anti-American regime, Russia will have to choose whether its best interests lie in supporting Islamist-inclined forces or backing Washington, they say.
© 2011 AFP