Mubarak: 'determined to fulfill what I promised' (Egypt updates)
We'll be wrapping up the live updates for the night, but we'll continue to track the story Friday. Thanks for joining us.
"The chants are now deafening in Tahrir: 'Leave, Leave, Leave.' Louder than I've ever heard before! That's our answer, Mubarak!" Pakina Mamer wrote on Twitter.
Even as Mubarak began his speech, the response came fast and furious on Twitter. Using the hashtag #mubarakspeech, which quickly became a worldwide top trending topic, people expressed their anger and disbelief over Mubarak's refusal to leave the country.
"Mubarak just portrayed to the world what 30 years in power does to a person," Egyptocracy wrote.
"Most offensive thing about Mubarak speech was claim that 'blood of martyrs wouldn't be wasted' as if it wasn't on his hands," Harikunzru tweeted.
"It took the Tunisians a month and 3 speeches... The egyptians will wait him out! Mubarak will leave," Shalabieh said.
The Post's correspondent Leila Fadel wrote, "Anger overflowing in Tahrir Square after Mubarak's speech. Many predicting blood tomorrow. They say Mubarak wants 'civil war.'"
Some worried about the possibilty that his speech would lead to violence. Khazelton wrote on Twitter, "Mubarak's last trick is to incite the people of his country to violence. Deny him the success of his plan. Please."
To some, though, the speech said enough: Reuters reports that Walid Foud, 38, said in Tahrir Square, "In his speech, Mubarak has listened to the protesters' demand. He has transferred his powers, and in my opinion, the protesters got what they wanted."
"The speech was very emotional and decent. The president did what the youth requested, he left power but in a decent way that preserves his dignity and that of the Egyptian people," Ahmed Aly, an Egyptian businessman, told Reuters. "Omar Suleiman is a military man and he has been used to acting in a strict way for a long time, but he will have to change his style and become more civilian in order to cope with his new position."
There was initial ambiguity after the speech about whether Mubarak had transferred powers to his vice president, Omar Suleiman. The Egyptian ambassador later said Mubarak had done so and described Suleiman as the de facto president.
The crowd largely dispersed from Tahrir Square and vowed to protest again on Friday. Some of the crowd marched to the State TV building. Lara Setrakian of ABC wrote on Twitter, "Tomorrow = Friday = huge protest day. Tahrir has its own tempo, and Fridays are a peak. One call to march to Presidential Palace"
President Obama is reported to have met with his National Security team and will be releasing a statement, but he is not expected to make a speech.
Mohammed ElBaradei spoke on CNN after Mubarak's announcement: "There is no way the Egyptian people right now are ready to accept either the president or the vice president. They have lost all authority, all legitimacy," he said. "My fear is that the situation will turn violent."
On Twitter, ElBaradei reached out to the military:
Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now
According to Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian ambassador to the U.S., Mubarak has transferred all powers to Suleiman, who is now the de facto president.
Benn Wedeman writes on CNN where the confusion came from in the speech:
Mubarak said was transferring "salahiyat" - "powers" to the vice president. without the use of the definite article it means "some powers"
Read the full transcript of Mubarak's speech here. An excerpt:
I am addressing all of you from the heart, a speech from the father to his sons and daughters. I am telling you that I am very grateful and am so proud of you for being a symbolic generation that is calling for change to the better, that is dreaming for a better future, and is making the future.
I am telling you before anything, that the blood of the martyrs and the injured will not go in vain. And I would like to affirm, I will not hesitate to punish those who are responsible fiercely. I will hold those in charge who have violated the rights of our youth with the harshest punishment stipulated in the law.
Obama watched Mubarak's speech on Air Force One. On his return to the White House, he will be meeting with his national security team, a memo to the White House pool of reporters said.
Vice President Omar Suleiman spoke to the nation, asking the protesters to allow the country to return to normal. "Go back home, go back to work" he said. He also told them not to listen to satellite TV stations.
As some called for a renewed protest Friday, Richard Engel of NBC News reports that other protesters have started to march to the state television building and others are planning a march to the presidential palace.
In a defiant speech, where he said he refused to bend to any foreign interference, Mubarak announced that he would remain in office until September, that he would take steps to lift the emergency law later, when the situation permits, and that he would transfer some powers to the vice president. The crowd in Tahrir Square, and on Twitter, reacted harshly to the news:
Listen to the crowd's reaction:
And the response from Twitter:
Crowds in Tahrir not happy. That Hosni is such a tease.
Tahrir crowd becoming angry. #jan25
Tahrir chants: 'we won't go. he will go.' The scene is set for a confrontation. #Egypt
Tomorrow there will be battle !! if it is not tonight , Al Tahrir is on fire !!
I hope the protests don't turn violent after being provoked, any violence would give them a green light to kill the protests off
President Hosni Mubarak gave a speech in which he did not yield his position. "I am determined to fulfill what I have promised you in all honesty, and I'm determined to execute and carry out what I have promised without going back to the past. I have faced death several times when I was a pilot. I also faced it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and elsewhere. I did not submit nor yield to foreign dictations or others. I have kept the peace. I worked towards the Egyptian stability and security. I have worked to the revival in Egypt and the prosperity."
His final remarks were:
Let me say again that I have lived for this nation. I have kept my responsibilities. And Egypt will remain, above all, and above any individuals -- Egypt will remain until I deliver and surrender its -- it to others. This will be the land of my living and my death. It will remain a dear land to me. I will not leave it nor depart it until I am buried in the ground. Its people will remain in my heart, and it will remain -- its people will remain upright and lifting up their heads.
Ernesto Londono reports from Cairo:
Thousands of demonstrators gathered around a large white blanket used as a projection screen as they waited for the president's speech.
They waved flags and chanted slogans demanding Mubarak's ouster. Many families brought children to the square and several painted their faces with the colors of the Egyptian flag -- red white and black.
"Leave, leave, leave," they screamed in unison.
Correspondent Leila Fadel called in from Cairo with a short clip of the chanting crowd:
Foreign Policy spoke to opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei about the protests.When asked what he thought if Omar Suleiman could be the steward of democratic transition, ElBaradei said he had no confidence in Suleiman:
They don't understand, let alone are willing to move Egypt into democracy, unless we keep kicking their behinds. And that's what happened. You saw Mubarak's first statement was saying, "We'll give you a new government" -- same old, worn-out tactics. A new government but no change of policy and the same people from his own party. They were kicked out and they said they would change the constitution to allow more people to run. They got kicked out again and then they would say, "Well, Mubarak will not run." Then they abolished the whole leadership of the party.
ElBaradei also took to Twitter for the first time in two weeks writing in Arabic, "I am following the situation closely, the hour of victory is coming for all Egyptians" and in English, "I am closely following the situation. We are almost there."
Mobile-phone images from Tahrir square, taken by Twitter user @pakinamer, an Egyptian journalist:
(The man pictured above is holding a Cairo street sign that has been modified to say "The people's street.")
Al-Jazeera correspondent Sherine Tadros wrote on Twitter about the mixed mood of protesters:
Egyptian state-run television ran a live feed of Obama's speech, signaling a shift in the tone of its news coverage over the past few days. The reports have changed from characterizing the protesters as lawless rabble-rousers to serious discussions of the role of security forces in Egypt as well as the role of the armed forces and government ministers in negotiating with the protesters. This is a huge change from the early days of the protests when state TV aired shots of serene streets while protesters and police were battling in the city.
President Obama is speaking from Marquette, Mich., where he commented on the situation in Egypt. "We are following today's events in Egypt very closely, and we will have more to say as this plays out," he said. "But what is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. It's a moment of transformation that's taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change. And they've turned out in extraordinary numbers representing all ages and all walks of life, but it's young people who've been at the forefront, a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard... Going forward, we want those young people and we want all Egyptians to know: America will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt."
"The president is still in power and he is not stepping down," Egyptian Information Minister Anas el-Fekky told Reuters news agency today. "The president is not stepping down and everything you heard in the media is a rumor."
The comment came amid reports Mubarak will cede power, as military officials announced that protesters' demands will be met. But the minister's remark also suggested Mubarak could stop short of a full resignation -- potentially, for instance, keeping his title while relinquishing his executive powers.
The Post's correspondent Craig Whitlock reports from Cairo on Mubarak's meeting with Suleiman, which is supposed to be taking place now in the presidential palace:
The Post's correspondent Ernesto Londono reports from Cairo that Egyptians are flooding into Tahrir Square where the mood is ebullient, despite concerns about the direction the new government will take:
The Egyptian military released this statement, but it still remained unclear precisely what role the military would take in a potential new government.
Based on the responsibility of the Armed Forces, and its commitment to protect the people, and to oversee their interests and security, and with a view to the safety of the nation and the citizenry, and of the achievements and properties of the great people of Egypt, and in affirmation and support for the legitimate demands of the people, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces convened today, 10 February 2011, to consider developments to date, and decided to remain in continuous session to consider what procedures and measures that may be taken to protect the nation, and the achievements and aspirations of the great people of Egypt.
With rumors swirling that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may step down tonight, speculation has started about who will take his place. Vice President Omar Suleiman, called by one Egyptian on Twitter the "Torturer in Chief," may not appease the demonstrators. Others, including Hossam Badrawi, the new head of the National Democratic Party, would not want the military to take charge. Earlier Thursday, the military announced it has stepped in to "safeguard the country" and assured protesters that President Hosni Mubarak will meet their demands.
We didn't fight and sacrifice all of this, so as to have the army, which is ruling us from 1952, remains in power! #Jan25
Mubarak could address Egypt at 1:30 p.m. EST, Sky News reports. Richard Engel of MSNBC says that the speech is likely pre-recorded.
The BBC reports that there may be new developments in the effort to transfer power in the Egyptian government from President Hosni Mubarak to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
On the 17th day of protests, as the Egyptian economy suffers and demonstrators continue to hold marches throughout the country, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq told BBC Arabic that the possibility of Mubarak stepping down was being discussed. Hossan Badrawi , the secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), told the BBC that Mubarak would "probably" speak to the nation tonight.
As recently as Wednesday, in an interview with "PBS NewsHour," Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Mubarak would not budge on his refusal to resign before his term ends in September.
The BBC's Lyse Doucet wrote on Twitter:
| February 10, 2011; 4:11 PM ET
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