In a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama reiterates that Egyptians will determine Egypt's future.
Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET: So far, the White House has continued to stop just short of calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step aside now, rather than hold on until elections in September.
President Barack Obama held to that line today, saying, as he and his aides have all week, that "there needs to be a transition process that begins now" but that "this process will be worked out by Egyptians."
Obama made the comments during a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which just ended.
Obama did, however, edge closer than he had previously to saying he would prefer that Mubarak step aside now. He said it was important that Mubarak had made the "psychological break" this week of deciding not to seek re-election, which opens the way for him to consider further steps to "make that transition effective and lasting and legitimate."
"He is proud, but he is also a patriot," Obama said. "He needs to consult with those around him in his government," listen to the Egyptian people "and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly but that is meaningful and serious."
"His term is up relatively shortly," the president noted. "The key question he should ask himself is how does he leave a meaningful legacy behind."
Obama called Egypt "a great and ancient civilization" that is "going through a time of tumult." But he reassured the Egyptian people that "they will continue to have a strong friend in the United States of America."
He also noted widespread reports that Western journalists and aid workers were being targeted for attack and detention in Egypt, reiterating the position Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out yesterday, saying: "Attacks on reporters are unacceptable. Attacks on human rights workers are unacceptable."
At the daily press briefing today, press secretary Robert Gibbs repeated that Mubarak must seek negotiations "with a broad base of those not currently in the government ... toward an orderly transition."