President Barack Obama has grown more impatient than the protesters in Tahrir Square of Cairo. His appeal for a credible, concrete and unequivocal path to democracy perhaps bore fruits.
As both inside and outside pressure mounted on him, Egypt President Hosni Mubarak has apparently fled Cairo on Friday morning, though early reports were not confirmed so far. His deteriorating health may have come in the way of his intention to prolong his stay in power till September. Nonetheless, Washington should be happy that his exit was smoother than many rulers in Asia and Africa.
The future course of action before the people of Egypt will now run more on predictable terms. As the world sought to see many Arab countries turn to democracy, so will Egypt witness democratic elections sooner than expected. Now the inevitable question is -- who is going to lead the government during the transition period?
While former IAEA chief and Nobel Peace prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, who has steered the crowds on street to overthrow the 30-year-old regime, may emerge as the unifying force to pacify the violent protesters, the military which has taken a neutral stand so far has to decide whom it supports.
In this scenario, many world leaders may back El Baradei and he has openly declared his willingness to lead the transition if people want him to do so. The Obama administration, realizing that people are already rallying behind El Baradei and not any other traditional opposition group like the Muslim Brotherhood, would eventually endorse his candidature, though reluctantly.
So far, the opposition including the Muslim Brotherhood and four other opposition groups have sided with El Baradei's leadership to lead an interim national salvation government and may even join the new transitional government.
But El Baradei, who was known for his opposition to the unilateral US invasion of Iraq in 2003, may not adhere to the foreign policy emulated by his predecessor. Currently, Egypt is a known ally of Washington and paved the way for a major shift in policy of the Arab nations since President Anwar Sadat's days 31 years ago. A break from this policy means Israel will face increasing isolation in the region and the Palestinian cause may gain strength.
Now Washington has to dilute the hostility that was generated in the last two months of unrest in Cairo and emerge as the stablizing factor in post-Mubarak Egypt. With the military aid for 2011 still uncleared, the Obama Administration can expect a docile military leadership that would remain friendly and facilitate a democratic government.
But the future of Arab politics are bound to take a radical turn with the exit of Mubarak, who was a long-time friend in the region.