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  • » 01/31/2011, 00.00

    EGYPT

    General strike called in Cairo as opposition demands caretaker government



    Mubarak promises reforms, but protesters demand he leave. A "respectable" withdrawal suggested by new Vice-President and Defence Minister. Obama calls for an "orderly transition", Israel says it "is in the interest of the West and the Middle East" to maintain stability in Egypt.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police returned to the streets in Egypt today for the first time since Friday, while a general strike was called. On the seventh day of protests, the goal is to force President Hosni Mubarak to leave. From his part the Rais, in a statement read on television, announced today that he has charged the new Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq to promote democracy through dialogue with the opposition. However the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, has delegated Mohamed ElBaradei the task of negotiating for a "transitional government". The former head of the UN nuclear energy agency, seems to have succeeded in unifying protesters. "No turning back," he said yesterday to the crowd. "A new era has begun for Egypt – he added.

    An "orderly transition to a government that meets the expectations of the Egyptians" was also called for by U.S. President Barack Obama, who spoke with some foreign leaders over the phone on the subject. At the same Obama and some European leaders addressed the Israeli government. As reported today in Haaretz, Tel Aviv says it is "best interests of the West" and "throughout the Middle East to maintain the stability of the regime in Egypt." "It is therefore necessary to curb public criticism against President Mubarak."

    If Israel’s concern is not only shared by the West- the king of Jordan and Libyan President phoned Mubarak - the fate of the Egyptian president seems quite obscure. According to the Sunday Times, the Egyptian opposition is negotiating for a transition, not with the president, but with the army which, according to protesters, "must choose" between Egypt and the Rais. The same source claims that the vice president, General Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief and defense minister, Mohammed Tantawi, asked Mubarak to resign, presenting him with a "respectable" solution.

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    See also

    28/01/2011 EGYPT
    Clashes in Suez. Protests spread
    The Muslim Brotherhood joins the revolt. Eight of them arrested. Internet and mobile communications blocked. ElBaradei asks Mubarak to resign and offers himself as a presidential candidate. 40% of Egyptians live below the poverty line

    09/04/2011 EGYPT
    Clashes between soldiers and demonstrators in Cairo, 2 dead, 15 wounded. Sit-in in Tahrir Square
    Campaigners calling for the resignation of the leader of the Military Council, Tantawi, Minister of Defence for 20 years with Mubarak, the transfer of power to a civilian Council, and the prosecution of the "rais". The square, symbol of the Jasmine Revolution, once again occupied by demonstrators.

    11/02/2011 EGYPT - ISLAM
    In Egypt, young people are changing Islam, separating religion and politics
    The demonstrations do not stop after Mubarak's speech and the declaration of the Supreme Council of the army. The international community is guided only by their own interests, but does not understand the needs of the Egyptian people. Should be supporting the youth of Tahrir Square. The transition in Egypt is a symbol that can change the Arab world and the planet.

    02/02/2011 EGYPT
    Pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters clash as the world asks for a transition
    At least 500 people are hurt from beating, sticks and stones. The US president speaks with Egypt’s strongman. Sarkozy, Erdogan and Britain want immediate action for change. The military goes on TV to ask for an end to protests and a return to normal life. But the situation is still very unstable, and tensions remain high.

    29/01/2011 EGYPT
    Cairo: anti-Mubarak protests continue, at least 50 dead from clashes
    Thousands of demonstrators occupy the streets of major cities. The government has announced its resignation, but people want the "fall of the regime”. Mobile phone lines partly restored, internet still down. Obama calls for non-violent response of the Egyptian government, China censors the word "Egypt" on the web.



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