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Africa

Mubarak fears resigning would lead Egypt 'into chaos'

Latest update : 2011-02-04

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday in an interview with ABC television that he was "fed up" with the presidency and would like to resign, but fears that doing so would allow Egypt to "sink into chaos".

AFP - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday in an interview with ABC television that he wants to leave office, but fears there will be chaos if he resigns now.
              
The beleaguered Egyptian leader said he was "fed up with being president and would like to leave office now, but cannot... for fear that the country would sink into chaos," ABC's Christiane Amanpour said, after interviewing Mubarak.

Mubarak, who has vowed not to stand in upcoming elections, has come under increasing pressure from the United States and the West to step down amid 10 days of violent protests against his 30-year rule.
              
But he said he had told US President Barack Obama "you don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."
              
Mubarak also said his government was not responsible for the violence in Cairo's Tahrir Square and blamed the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.
              
Pitched battles on Wednesday between Mubarak supporters and regime opponents left at least five people dead and 836 injured.
              
"I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other," Mubarak was quoted as saying in the 30-minute interview with Amanpour.
              
"He told me that he is troubled by the violence we have seen in Tahrir Square over the last few days but that his government is not responsible for it," Amanpour said in her account of the interview.
              
"Instead, he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political party here in Egypt," she said.
              

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?
The interview took place in a reception room in the heavily guarded presidential palace in Cairo, with Mubarak's son Gamal seated at his side, ABC said.
              
"I never intended to run again. I never intended Gamal to be president after me," Mubarak reportedly said.
              
He told Amanpour that he had felt relief after announcing in an address to the nation on Friday that he would not run again for the presidency.
              
"I don't care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country, I care about Egypt," he added.
              
Asked by Amanpour how he was feeling, the veteran leader replied: "I am feeling strong. I would never run away. I will die on Egyptian soil."
              
In later comments to ABC's New York studio, Amanpour said she had also spoken at the palace to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
              
"I asked him several times and each time he said: we would never authorize force against the people," Amanpour said.
              
Both Suleiman and Mubarak "believe they have met the demands of the people," she added.

Timeline of Egypt's unrest


 

Date created : 2011-02-03

  • EGYPT

    Premier apologises for attack on protesters by government supporters

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  • EGYPT

    Protesters killed as gunfire breaks out in Cairo

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Mubarak will not seek another term, but refuses to quit

    Read more

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