In a far-reaching interview Saturday with an Arab satellite channel, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned that an Iraqi civil war was imminent and also said he would work to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
The hourlong interview with Al-Arabiya focused on the region's flashpoints - Iraq and the Palestinian territories.
Asked by the interviewer if civil war was at Iraq's door, a troubled-looking Mubarak said it had already passed the threshold.
"It is not at the door. Civil war has almost started among Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and those who are coming from Asia," he said. "The situation is uneasy and I don't know how Iraq will be brought together. At the moment, Iraq is almost close to destruction."
A day earlier, Iraq witnessed its deadliest attack of the year, a bomb at the Shiite Buratha mosque in north Baghdad that killed 85 people. On Saturday, a car bomb killed six people near a Shiite shrine south of Baghdad, and fears of more attacks are running high.