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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Egyptian President Urges Putin to Stand for 3rd Term

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged President Vladimir Putin to run for a third term in 2008, despite a constitutional two-term limit, a newspaper interview published Monday reported.

Mubarak, scheduled to visit Russia later this week, hailed Putin as "a very good, clever leader" in the interview with the daily Vremya Novostei, and said he should stay in office -- the first such call from the leader of a major country.

"Russia needs Putin," Mubarak was quoted as saying. Asked by the newspaper what he would tell Putin when they sat down for talks in the Kremlin, Mubarak answered: "To stay on and not to listen to anyone. For the sake of national interests."

"He knows well the situation in Russia and the world," Mubarak said about Putin. "He understands everything. Let him stay."

The immensely popular Putin is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term, and he has repeatedly insisted that he will step down in 2008. Lawmakers in a number of regions, including Chechnya, have called for a referendum on amending the Constitution to allow Putin to stay in power.

Mubarak scoffed at Russia's two-term limit as an imitation of the United States. "Is your Constitutional two-term limit an imitation of the Americans?" the newspaper quoted him as saying. "You criticize the Americans and you imitate what they do. Are you opening the doors or closing them? You must decide."