PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday urged Egypt to avoid falling into "religious dictatorship."
Sarkozy said it is "inevitable" that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will relinquish power.
Sarkozy spoke on French television soon after Mubarak announced on Thursday night that he has handed his powers over to his vice president. Mubarak refused to step down outright or leave the country despite widespread protests.
Sarkozy said he hopes Egypt "finds the path of democracy and not the path of another form of dictatorship, religious dictatorship."
Sarkozy said it's the "moral responsibility" of Western democracies to help Egypt and Tunisia avoid a system that "would be worse" than what they had before recent protests.