Mubarak says his resignation will bring chaos to Egypt

14:58, February 04, 2011      

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday that if he resigns today, there will be chaos in Egypt.

In a 30-minute exclusive interview with ABC television network, the embattled Egyptian president said he is "fed up" with being president and would like to leave office now.

But he said he cannot resign now for fear that the country would sink into chaos.

He told ABC's Christiane Amanpour at the presidential palace in Cairo that he is troubled by the violence over the last few days but his government is not responsible for it.

"I was very unhappy about yesterday, I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other," Mubarak said.

Violent clashes erupted between supporters of Mubarak and protesters against him in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on Wednesday, leaving at least six dead and more than 800 injured. In the ABC interview, Mubarak blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political party in Egypt, for the violence.

Egypt has seen the largest mass protests in 30 years since Jan. 25 challenging Mubarak's rule. The protests, still with no sign of a quick end, have left more than 100 dead and several thousand people injured. Some opposition groups have planned to organize mass protests again on Friday.

Mubarak told the nation on Tuesday that he would step down after the presidential elections in September.

He told ABC that he felt relief after the televised speech, saying "I never intended to run again. I never intended Gamal to be president after me."

As Mubarak's son, Gamal was once widely considered to be groomed as his successor. He joined his father in the interview.

The 83-year-old president pledged his loyalty to Egypt, saying he would never run away but "die on this soil." He also defended his legacy, recounting the many years he has spent leading his country.

The United States sees Egypt led by Mubarak as a close ally in the Arab world and has offered some 1.5 billion dollars in annual military and economic aid in the past years. But on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama made a public call for orderly transition in Egypt right now.

When asked how he responded to the call, Mubarak said he told Obama that "you don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."

Source: Xinhua
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