The leaders of the UK, France and Germany have released a joint statement
on the situation in Egypt ...
"We are deeply concerned about the events that we are witnessing in Egypt. We recognise the moderating role President Mubarak has played over many years in the Middle East. We now urge him to show the same moderation in addressing the current situation in Egypt.
"We call on President Mubarak to avoid at all costs the use of violence against unarmed civilians, and on the demonstrators to exercise their rights peacefully.
"It is essential that the further political, economic and social reforms President Mubarak has promised are implemented fully and quickly and meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
"There must be full respect for human rights and democratic freedoms, including freedom of expression and communication, including use of telephones and the internet, and the right of peaceful assembly.
"The Egyptian people have legitimate grievances and a longing for a just and better future. We urge President Mubarak to embark on a process of transformation which should be reflected in a broad-based government and in free and fair elections."
When I saw the headline, I wondered -- perhaps thought -- they'd be getting out ahead of the Obama administration
on this critical question. A bit. But not much.