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A look back at the sixteenth day of Egyptian unrest

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-02-09

France24.com's hour-by-hour coverage of February 9, the sixteenth day of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

9:30pm – EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is expected to travel to Egypt in the next few weeks despite the Egyptian government’s reluctance to receive foreign visitors, an EU official says.

Ashton would be meeting with government officials and opposition leaders to discuss how Europe can help in a future transition of power.

8pm - The US criticises Egypt's steps towards reform, with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs saying they do not meet the "minimum threshold" required by Egyptians.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit dismisses US Vice President Joe Biden’s calls for the immediate repeal of Egypt’s emergency law. He says Washington’s advice was “not at all” helpful.

7:30pm - AFP reports that new Egyptian culture minister has resigned.

5pm - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Washington for talks focused on the effect of the Egyptian crisis on Mideast peace. Barak is due to meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Obama’s national security advisor, Thomas Donilon.

4pm - The Muslim Brotherhood has said it is not seeking power by supporting anti-Mubarak supporters and that it will not be putting a candidate forward in the presidential elections.

3pm - Hundreds of government employees, members of the musicians' union and university professors have staged separate protests demanding better pay.

In Suez, several thousand workers from three state-owned companies have also protested to demand higher pay. A senior official has said the action would not affect canal operations.

The Higher Education Ministry has also said it would extend mid-year school and university vacations for a week to complete exam marking that has been delayed by the protests.

1pm - The Muslim Brotherhood has said it remains open to dialogue with authorities, but repeated the demand for Mubarak to leave office immediately.

12pm - Immigration officers have been instructed to prevent Palestinians from entering the country. Twelve Palestinians were sent back to where they came from, an official told AFP.

11am - At least three people have died and 100 others were wounded after a second day of clashes between police and demonstrators in a town in the southern New Valley governorate, according to security officials.

In the Suez Canal city of Port Said around 300 slum dwellers have set fire to parts of the governorate building in anger over what they said was the failure of local officials to provide proper housing for them.

Dozens of state museum workers have staged a protest in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo to demand higher wages.

10am - Ayman Nour, chairman of the opposition El Ghad party, and other opposition leaders rebuked vice president Omar Suleiman’s comments made the previous day that protesters had two options: “dialogue” or “coup”.

Several hundred protesters have tried to block the parliamentary building in Cairo, staging a Tahrir Square style sit-in. They are joined by many more protesters waving huge flags. The building is protected by troops backed by armoured vehicles, but there has been no violence.

The Pyramids of Giza, the country’s most famous tourist attraction, have been reopened to tourists.

9am
- Inspired by the largest day of protest since their campaign to oust Hosni Mubarak's regime began on Tuesday, Egyptian pro-democracy campaigners reinforced their occupation of the ‘liberated’ Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.

The Egyptian pound inched down only slightly as trading got underway on Wednesday, after Egypt’s central bank pumped US dollars into the market to stem its currency’s six-year record decline.

Date created : 2011-02-09

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