02/05/2011, 00.00
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Cairo transition negotiations continue. Mubarak gathers ministers. Tahrir Square will not give in

Contacts and talks intensified to find a solution to break the deadlock in Egypt. The Vice President Suleiman will meet with opposition leaders. Growing pressure on Mubarak to initiate a peaceful transition.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Pressure is on Mubarak to hand over substantial power to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and Tahrir Square, Cairo, protesters, after a peaceful night, are ready for another day of protest demanding the immediate departure of the Rais. The situation is still highly volatile and it is difficult to predict the timing and outcome of this standoff. Army tanks have begun to leave the square, many protesters are sitting around the tanks, to prevent them from leaving. They see them as their only defence against surprise attacks by supporters of Mubarak.

The Egyptian president has convoked Cabinet for the first time since the unrest erupted. He met the prime minister, the ministers of oil, finance, economy and the central bank governor. The most recent reports say that the new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, is set to meet with opposition leaders. It is likely that the banks reopen tomorrow, and that the stock market will reopen Monday. An attack on the pipeline that supplies gas to Israel and Jordan has led to a temporary freeze on supplies, even if the damage is minimal.

There is growing international pressure on Mubarak to bring about an institutional change quickly. Obama continues to put pressure on the Rais to "make the right choices." Angela Merkel said that the change must take into account the wishes of the demonstrators. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said that "the will of the people must be respected."

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See also
Life imprisonment for former Egyptian President Mubarak, sons Gamal and Ala acquitted
First dawn after Mubarak: rebirth and domino effect
Egypt, high turnout and few disturbances in first post-Mubarak presidential election
Army slowing reforms to sink revolution
Clashes in Cairo from 5 to 10 deaths overnight. Mubarak's opponents will not give up


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