National/World

White House: Egyptians' grievances 'legitimate'

Friday, January 28, 2011
Egyptian protesters flee as anti-riot police fire tear gas in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The Egyptian capital Cairo was the scene of violent chaos Friday, when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. It was a major escalation in what was already the biggest challenge to authoritarian President Hosni Mubaraks 30 year-rule. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali)

Egyptian protesters flee as anti-riot police fire tear gas in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The Egyptian capital Cairo was the scene of violent chaos Friday, when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. It was a major escalation in what was already the biggest challenge to authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak's 30 year-rule. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali) (AP Photo)

The White House says the "legitimate grievances" of the Egyptian people must be addressed immediately by their government and violence is not the right response.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama has not spoken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak since he became the target of roiling street protests. Asked why not, Gibbs said that "we're monitoring a very fluid situation."

Gibbs said it was time for reform to come to Egypt. He reiterated calls for calm and said that the Pentagon has been in direct contact with the Egyptian military to caution restraint.

The U.S. is treading carefully amid the threat to a stalwart U.S. ally in the Arab world considered a linchpin for American efforts to forge Middle East peace and tamp down Islamic extremism.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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