Everybody Loves Loved Hosni

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U.S. President Jimmy Carter brokered the 1978 peace talks between Israel and Egypt when Hosni Mubarak was President Anwar Sadat's vice president. (To sweeten the deal, Carter threw in generous U.S. military support to Egypt, setting the terms of the largely military-driven relationship between the two countries that has continued throughout Mubarak's rule.) Those talks resulted in the 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel. And while Carter told a reporter on Jan. 30 that he felt he knew "Mubarak quite well," the former U.S. president also said that the Egyptian president had become "more politically corrupt" than he was during their Camp David days. "The United States wants Mubarak to stay in power," Carter commented, "but the people have decided."

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Before Mubarak's almost 30-year presidency began in 1981, Israel and Egypt had a rocky relationship. But Mubarak took the Camp David Accords signed by his predecessor Sadat, which brought an end to decades of conflict between the two countries, and nursed it into long-term stability. Under Mubarak, Egypt assumed a leading role in helping negotiate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and cooperated in fighting smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza. In a statement on Jan. 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that his government is now "anxiously" monitoring the situation in Egypt. "No matter what they say," Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Jan. 31, "we owe Mubarak true gratitude for being as steadfast as a rock and for working towards peace and stability in the Middle East."  

Shimon PeresEhud Olmert/

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From the late-19th through the mid-20th century, Britain variously owned, occupied, and fought over Egypt; today Britain's relationship with its former protectorate is decidedly more normal. Egypt is a popular tourist destination for British citizens -- as anyone who has checked in on the BBC during an Egyptian crisis knows -- and Britain is a large contributor to the European Union's economic assistance plan for Egypt. The two countries also work together in military training exercises and maintaining the security of the Suez Canal. Still, Britain's past and present leaders have not minced words with Mubarak since the protests began; former Prime Minister Tony Blair said Feb. 1 that "it is over" for Mubarak, while Prime Minister David Cameron -- who stopped short of saying Mubarak should step down -- said Jan. 31 that Egypt should have a "proper, orderly transition to a more democratic situation."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair;

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