US urges quick transition to democracy in Egypt

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is voicing support for restive Egyptians demanding a smoother, speedier transition to democracy following President Hosni Mubarak's fall from power earlier this year. The White House press office says in a statement that the United States "will continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they build a democracy worthy of Egypt's great history."

The statement Friday comes amid continuing unrest in Egypt, where protesters in Cairo's Tahir Square have said they won't leave until the ruling military council that succeeded Mubarak steps down in favor of a civilian presidential council. The White House says the United States "strongly believes that the new Egyptian government must be empowered with real authority immediately." And it notes that Washington condemns "the excessive use of force" against the protesters.