Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Monday that Egypt will not bow to foreign pressure in an apparent response to recent criticism from the United States over allegations that his government has increased human rights abuses.
In a nationwide speech, Mubarak also promised that his government would continue its decade-long efforts to bring "peace, security and stability" to the troubled Middle East.
Washington recently has escalated its criticism of Mubarak, a long time US ally and a key catalyst in Arab-Israeli peace efforts. Earlier this month, the White House voiced displeasure with recent decisions in Egypt to crack down on dissenting voices within the media and to close a human rights group, saying it is "deeply concerned" about the moves.
Mubarak did not mention the United States by name, but Egyptian state-owned media have recently been lambasting the Bush administration for its criticism of Mubarak.