WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is urging Egyptian leaders to include more people in a national dialogue on reform but won’t endorse demands from protesters for the immediate resignation of embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

As Washington anxiously awaits political developments in its staunchest Arab ally, administration officials are warning that a precipitous exit by Mubarak could set back the country’s democratic transition.

After several days of mixed messages, the administration on Monday coalesced around a position that cautiously welcomes developing reform efforts begun by Egypt’s newly appointed vice president. Those efforts may or may not result in Mubarak’s resignation before September, when elections are to be held.

Under Egypt’s constitution, Mubarak’s resignation would trigger an election in 60 days, well before September, and U.S. officials said that’s not enough time to prepare.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.