Mubarak: If I resign, Egypt will descend into chaos

February 3, 2011 22:36

In ABC interview, Egyptian president says he's "fed up" and wants to go but can't because he cares about his country; claims Obama doesn't "understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 311 AP. (photo credit: AP / Egypt TV)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday said that he wants to resign but feels he has a responsibility from letting his country "slide into chaos." Mubarak's comments came in an interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour.

"I am fed up. After 62 years in public service I have had enough. I want to go," Mubarak told Amanpour.

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On calls for him to resign, Mubarak said "I don't care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country."

The Egyptian president responded to calls from his US counterpart Barack Obama that he step down saying, "you don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."

He warned that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power in Egypt if he were to resign now.

On violence that erupted between pro and anti-Mubarak protesters on Wednesday, the Egyptian president said, "“I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other.”

Earlier on Thursday, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman said that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organized opposition movement, has been invited to meet with the new government as part of a national dialogue with all parties.

Suleiman said the "conspiracy" behind the assault of the protesters will be investigated. He expressed his surprise that the protests have not stopped.

He said he will release non-violent youths detained during protests, Reuters reported.

Suleiman added that violent protesters in Tahrir Square will be punished.

Also Thursday, Egyptian state television quoted Suleiman as saying that Mubarak's son will not seek to succeed his father in elections later this year, in the the latest concession to anti-government protesters.

It was widely believed that Mubarak was grooming his son Gamal, 46, to succeed him despite significant public opposition.

In related news, the Egyptian attorney-general on Thursday issued a travel ban and froze the bank accounts of several former ministers that are being investigated, Egyptian state television reported.

One of the ministers is reportedly former interior minister Habib el-Adly who is being investigated for pulling police out of Tahrir Square last week. With police absent from the area, there was looting in Cairo.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt

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