Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to respect protesters’ rights and use their outpouring of anger as a chance to lead his country in a more democratic direction, as a second day of anti-government protests swept the country.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence,” Mrs. Clinton said at a press conference with Jordan’s foreign minister. “We urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests nor block communications, including on social media sites.”
Mrs. Clinton said that “we believe strongly that the Egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”
Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, and four were reported killed Wednesday in two days of clashes with security forces.
Twitter, the micro-blogging site that played a key role in the recent Tunisian uprising, said Tuesday that it had been blocked in Egypt.
Spokesmen for Facebook have said the social networking website has not been shut down, though Egyptian users have complained of service disruptions.