Self-Exiled Nobel Winner Returning to Egypt

Meanwhile, Barack Obama may step up criticism of Mubarak
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 7:18 AM CST
Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former UN nuclear chief, right, is greeted by a farmer during his visit to Minya, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010.   (AP Photo/Mamdouh Thabet)
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(Newser) – Opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei is returning to Egypt today, in support of the protests sweeping the country, CNN reports. ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, has been posting encouraging messages about the protests on Twitter, and plans to participate in them tomorrow. “I am going back to Cairo, and back onto the streets because, really, there is no choice,” he wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek yesterday.

President Obama, meanwhile, is preparing to step up his criticism of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Obama talked to Mubarak yesterday, BusinessWeek reports, pressing him to accept democratic changes. That would probably please ElBaradei, who criticizes the US for supporting Mubarak. “If you would like to know why the United States does not have credibility in the Middle East, that is precisely the answer,” he writes. “You are applying a double standard for your friends, and siding with an authoritarian regime just because you think it represents your interests.” Click for more on the unrest in North Africa.

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