CAIRO -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will not run for a new term in office in September elections, but rejected demands that he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt's soil, in a television address Tuesday after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million protesters called on him to go.
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Mubarak said he would serve out the rest of his term working to ensure a "peaceful transfer of power" and carry out amendments to rules on presidential elections.
But the half-way concession - an end to his rule months down the road - was immediately derided by protesters massed in Cairo's main downtown square.
Watching his speech on a giant TV set up in Tahrir square, protesters booed and waved their shoes over the heads in a sign of contempt. "Go, go, go! We are not leaving until he leaves," they chanted, and one man screamed, "He doesn't want to say it, he doesn't want to say it."
The 82-year-old Mubarak, who has ruled the country for nearly three decades, insisted that his decision not to run had nothing to do with the unprecedented protests that have shaken Egypt the past week. "I tell you in all sincerity, regardless of the current circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term."
"I will work for the final remaining months of the current term to accomplish the necessary steps for the peaceful transfer of power," he said.
Mubarak, a former air force commander, resolutely vowed not to flee the country. "This dear nation .. is where I lived, I fought for it and defended its soil, sovereignty and interests. On its soil I will die. History will judge me like it did others."
His speech came after a visiting envoy of President Barack Obama told Mubarak that his ally the United States sees his presidency at an end. Frank Wisner, a respected former U.S. ambassador to Egypt who is a friend of the Egyptian president, made clear to Mubarak that the U.S "view that his tenure as president is coming to close," according to an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the ongoing diplomacy.
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02/14/2011 4:24 PM EST
Somali Preacher Urges Egypt-Style RevoltAhram Online reports:
A spiritual leader of Somalia's Islamist Shebab rebels called for popular Egypt- and Tunisia-style revolts to topple the government.
Sheikh Jama Abdusalam said such uprisings would rid the war-wracked country of a government that he accused of serving Western interests.
"I am urging the people to carry out Egyptian- and Tunisian-style uprisings in Somalia," Abdusalam told Alfurqaan Radio, a Shebab mouthpiece.
Read more here.
02/14/2011 4:21 PM EST
Clinton To Egyptians 'Don't Let Anyone Hijack The Process'
|@ AlArabiya_Eng : Clinton to Alarabiya: I say to egyptians: don't let anyone hijack the process #alarabiya #Iran #Egypt #clinton|
02/14/2011 4:20 PM EST
Egypt Summary: Today's Events
Egypt's military rulers called for an end to strikes and protests Monday as thousands of state employees, from ambulance drivers to police and transport workers, demonstrated to demand better pay in a growing wave of labor unrest unleashed by the democracy uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak's regime.
The statement by the ruling military council that took power from Mubarak appeared to be a final warning to protest organizers in labor and professional unions before the army intervenes and imposes an outright ban on gatherings, strikes and sit-ins.
Soldiers cleared out almost all the remaining demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the giant traffic circle that was turned into a protest camp headquarters for the 18-day revolt. During more than two weeks of round-the-clock demonstrations at the square, protesters set up tents, brought in blankets, operated medical clinics and festooned the entire plaza with giant banners demanding removal of the regime.
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02/14/2011 3:51 PM EST
'Rumors' Of More Deaths In BahrainThe Guardian reports:
There are rumours – and let us stress, just rumours at this point – of more deaths in Bahrain following today's protests.
02/14/2011 3:48 PM EST
France Asked To Freeze Assets Of Egypt Officials
|@ felix85 : France says Egypt asks it to freeze possible assets of ex-officials, adding to UK and Germany already today|
02/14/2011 2:59 PM EST
Yemen Protests Continue After Concessions By Regime
Ahram Online reports:
A crowd of about 3,000 protesters, mainly lawyers and students, tried to march from Sanaa University to Al-Tahrir square in the city centre, where [Yemen President] Saleh's supporters have been camped since last week, but were prevented by security forces who erected barbed wire, witnesses reported.
In a move to manage the situation President Saleh halted constitutional procedures which may have allowed him to assume the presidency for life, and possibly pave the way for his son, the chief of the Republican Guard, to succeed him.
02/14/2011 2:50 PM EST
Protester In Bahrain Reported Killed By Security Forces
The Guardian reports:
A major development in Bahrain where there are reports that one person has been killed by security forces during a protest:
According to sources in the hospital, and confirmed by Nabeel Rajab from a Bahraini human rights organisation, Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, 27, was shot in the back with live ammunition. Protesters are incensed.
02/14/2011 2:43 PM EST
Dozens Of Iran Protest Clips On YouTube
|@ thelede : Live Update: Dozens of Iran Protest Clips on YouTube http://nyti.ms/dG1C5M #Egypt #Bahrain #Iran|
02/14/2011 2:42 PM EST
Egypt’s Ruling Generals Meet With Opposition
The New York Times reports:
Two generals sat down Sunday night to talk about their country’s future with seven of the revolution’s young organizers — including the Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim — and the young activists posted their notes on the meeting directly to the Internet for the Egyptian public to see.
“We all sensed a sincere desire to preserve the gains of the revolution and unprecedented respect for the right of young people to express their views,” two of the young organizers, Mr. Ghonim and Amr Salama, wrote in their Facebook posting, with the disclaimer that they were speaking only for themselves. They noted that the generals spoke without any of the usual “parental tone (you do not know what is good for you, son),” and called the encounter “the first time an Egyptian official sat down to listen more than speak.”
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