WASHINGTON -- President Obama's top aide, William Daley, signaled in an interview Sunday that the U.S. did not want to steer events in Egypt but, rather, hoped the Egyptian people would come up with a solution to the standoff between President Hosni Mubarak and protesters who want him ousted.
Daley, in his first interview since he was named White House chief of staff on Jan. 6, told CBS' "Face the Nation'' that the White House supported "basic human rights of the people of Egypt.''
Obama has urged his Egyptian counterpart that the government needs to show "restraint'' toward protesters massed on city streets demanding Mubarak's ouster, Daley said. Striking an even-handed posture, Obama also has cautioned that the protesters need to show restraint too, Daley noted.
"The determination of Egypt will be done by the people of Egypt,'' Daley said.
Egypt's escalating tensions amount to the first real foreign crisis for the Obama administration that it did not inherit. The crisis serves as a test of Obama's revamped White House operation. Daley, a former Commerce secretary in the Clinton administration, is now running a staff that is briefing Obama regularly on Egypt.