Obama sees 'progress' on Egypt
Washington - President Barack Obama said on Monday that Egypt is "making progress" toward a solution to the political crisis enveloping the country.
Asked about the situation while walking back to the White House after speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce, Obama said: "Obviously Egypt has to negotiate a path and I think they're making progress".
He did not elaborate. In Egypt, Vice President Omar Suleiman met for the first time on Sunday with several major opposition groups.
US officials have indicated support for the talks, even though they don't meet protesters' demands for President Hosni Mubarak's immediate resignation.
Some in Egypt see the US support as contradicting Obama's repeated call for a transition in Egypt to begin "now".
White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said later that what the Egyptian people want most to see is the government taking concrete steps to bring about demanded changes, including the end of Mubarak's government, and free and fair elections.
He said "monumental change" already has taken place, with Mubarak pledging not to seek re-election in September, ruling out his son as a candidate to succeed him and appointing Suleiman's as vice president.
"We have the beginnings of a process that is taking place, a process that we know has to include a series of steps that have to be taken and a series of things that have to be negotiated with a broad section of the opposition parties in order to move us toward a free and fair election," Gibbs said.