Egypt crisis: Mubarak's son Gamal among party leaders to resign, state TV says
Anti-government protesters rally Saturday in front of army tanks near Cairo's Tahrir Square.
February 5th, 2011
08:00 PM ET

Egypt crisis: Mubarak's son Gamal among party leaders to resign, state TV says

Read full coverage and examine a timeline of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Send your photos and video to iReport and see CNN in Arabic here. See also this strong roundup of timely, insightful views on the wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

[Update 3:00 a.m. in Cairo, 8:00 p.m. ET] New glimpses emerged Saturday into the sensitive diplomatic strategy the Obama administration is using to help bring about a transition in which Mubarak himself helps to dismantle his own power structure.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, urged support for the man Mubarak named to carry out that
transition, Vice President Omar Suleiman.

"There are forces in at work in any society," Clinton said, "in particular in one that is facing these kinds of challenges, who will try to derail or overtake the process to pursue their own specific agenda, which is why I think it's important to support the transition process announced by the Egyptian government actually headed by now-Vice President Omar Suleiman."

[Update 1:15 a.m. in Cairo, 6:15 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of an "orderly, peaceful transition" to a government that is "responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people." In phone calls with foreign leaders Saturday, Obama also urged "credible, inclusive negotiations between the government and the opposition," according to the White House.

[Update 12:30 a.m. in Cairo, 5:30 p.m. ET] U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Suleiman by phone Saturday and asked about negotiations Suleiman had with several opposition leaders and intellectuals about Egypt's future, the White House said.

"He stressed the need for a concrete reform agenda, a clear timeline, and immediate steps that demonstrate to the public and the opposition that the Egyptian government is committed to reform," according to the White House.

Biden also called for the immediate release of journalists and activists
who have been detained without cause, the White House said.

[Update 11:45 p.m. in Cairo, 4:45 p.m. ET] It's just after midnight in Cairo and anti-Mubarak protesters are still standing their ground in Tahrir Square in defiance of a government curfew for the 12th night in a row, CNN's Ivan Watson reports.

[Update 11:45 p.m. in Cairo, 4:45 p.m. ET] Israeli President Shimon Peres defended the Egyptian president, saying, "In spite of all the attacks against President Mubarak, I know him for many years, throughout his presidency and I accredit him as one of the persons who saved many lives by preventing war in the Middle East, who saved lives of Egyptians, of Arabs, of Israelis, by not allowing to renew a war."

[Update 10:45 p.m. in Cairo, 3:45 p.m. ET] Anti-government rallies outside of Egypt continued Saturday in major cities worldwide, including New York, Washington, Atlanta, Paris, France, and the West Bank. In Washington, iReporter Inga Lukaviciute captured video of a group of loud but peaceful protesters carrying signs and Egyptians flags as they marched from the Egyptian embassy to the White House chanting anti-Mubarak slogans.

In Paris, France, iReporter Lawrence Langner took pictures of the thousands gathered at Place de la Republique amid a strong police presence. Their message also focused Mubarak's removal.

[Update 10:00 p.m. in Cairo, 3:00 p.m. ET] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "remains utterly critical in the days ahead as we sort our way toward the future," and must stay in office, President Barack Obama's point man for Egypt, Frank Wisner, said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Wisner is the diplomatic official who delivered a message from President Barack Obama's administration to Egypt's leadership this week.

In response, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that
Wisner is no longer acting in any official capacity.

"We have great respect for Frank Wisner and we were deeply appreciative of his willingness to travel to Egypt last week. He has not continued in any official capacity following the trip. The views he expressed today are his own. He did not coordinate his comments with the U.S. government," Crowley said.

[Update 7:46 p.m. in Cairo, 12:46 p.m. ET] Among those submitting their resignations from leadership positions in Egypt's National Democratic Party were Gamal Mubarak, President Hosni Mubarak's son, state television reported. Housam Badrawi was appointed as the new secretary-general of the national party, replacing Safwat el Sherif, as well as head of the strategy and politics committee, replacing Gamal Mubarak.

"As the president has repeatedly said, Egyptians will be the ones that decide how this transition occurs," said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, on Gamal Mubarak's resignation. "We welcome any step that provides credibility to that process."

"We view this as a positive step toward the political change that will be necessary, and look forward to additional steps," an administration official said.

President Hosni Mubarak remains head of state.

[Update 7:20 p.m. in Cairo, 12:20 p.m. ET] Members of the general secretariat of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party submitted their resignations, state TV reported. It did not confirm an earlier report that President Hosni Mubarak had resigned from his party post.

[Update 6:46 p.m. in Cairo, 11:46 a.m. ET] President Hosni Mubarak has resigned as head of the National Democratic Party, along with other members of the party's general secretariat, state TV reported.

[Update 6:03 p.m. in Cairo, 11:03 a.m. ET] The U.S. State Department said it was operating one flight Saturday to evacuate U.S. citizens from Egypt. It was headed for Athens, Greece. There was no word on how many Americans would be transported.

[Update 5:58 p.m. in Cairo, 10:58 a.m. ET] Amnesty International is urging an investigation into the detention of 35 journalists and human rights activists documenting the crisis in Egypt. Two who were detained are staff members for the human rights group. They were freed after spending two days in military custody.

[Update 5:02 p.m. in Cairo, 10:02 a.m. ET] Talks between newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman and a few opposition groups started Saturday.

At a news conference Saturday, Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Othman said, "The army remains neutral and is not taking sides because if we protect one side we will be perceived as bias ... our role is to prevent clashes and chaos as we separate the opposing groups."

Egyptian courts will return to work Sunday, the justice minister announced on state TV Saturday.

[Update 4:48 p.m. in Cairo, 9:48 a.m. ET] Khaled Serri Seyam, the head of the Egyptian stock market, told the official Egyptian news agency that the decision to reopen the market on Monday is now canceled and that the stock market will stay closed for now.

[Update 4:09 p.m. in Cairo, 9:09 a.m. ET] The German diplomat who said there was an assassination attempt against Egypt's new vice president has retracted his comments. "I was led to believe that we had a confirmed report but in fact we didn't," he told CNN. He added the information he received was based on an unsubstantiated source.

[Update 3:36 p.m. in Cairo, 8:36 a.m. ET] Opposition demonstrators formed a human chain to block  Egyptian army tanks from entering the anti-government redoubt in Cairo's Tahrir Square, CNN's Ivan Watson reported. This is the first sign of tension between the demonstrators and the Egyptian military since the protests erupted, but the standoff lasted just a short time, CNN's Arwa Damon reported.

[Update 2:49 p.m. in Cairo, 7:49 a.m. ET] Amid widespread criticism of Egypt for attacks on journalists, the country's prime minister on Saturday said there have been "no instructions to hinder the coverage of the media in the Tahrir area." "I made clear that they have full freedom to do anything they want," Ahmed Shafiq said.

[Update 2:26 p.m. in Cairo, 7:26 a.m. ET] Egypt's El Arish natural gas pipeline to Jordan has been closed after an attack set it on fire, the head of Jordan's national electricity company told CNN on Saturday. Ghaleb Al Maabreh said repairs will take at least a week, and will be paid for by Jordan.

[Update 2:17 p.m. in Cairo, 7:17 a.m. ET] Protesters formed a new opposition group Saturday to represent anti-government demonstrators gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Mohamed ElBaradei's Association for National Change and a leftist Tagammu party leader announced the new group of 10 people, which includes ElBaradei, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy and liberal Ghad party leader Ayman Nour. The newly formed opposition group is calling for Mubarak's resignation and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

[Update 2 p.m. in Cairo, 7 a.m. ET] An assassination attempt was made on Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, the host of the Munich Security Conference said Saturday. During a plenary session at the conference, the host Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger said several people were killed in the attack.

Details about the incident, including when and where it happened, were not immediately known but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the conference that the news of the assassination attempt reflects the challenges of restoring stability in Egypt. The vice president, appointed last week amid widespread cries for President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, has been working to initiate a government transition, and Clinton said it's important to support the Suleiman-led process.

[Update 11:49 a.m. in Cairo, 4:49 a.m. ET] Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei was in Cairo's Tahrir Square late Saturday morning. ElBaradei's National Association for Change movement told CNN he will make his way to a podium to speak to crowds.

[Update 10:49 a.m. in Cairo, 3:49 a.m. ET] President Hosni Mubarak met Saturday with Egypt's minister of finance, oil, trade and industry at the presidential palace Saturday, state-run Nile TV reported.

[Update 10:20 a.m. in Cairo, 3:20 a.m. ET] An Egyptian state-run news agency reported a gas pipeline has been set on fire in a suspected terrorist attack in Al-Arish.

A crowd of protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square remained relatively peaceful mid-morning Saturday after occasional street battles broke out in the city overnight. The scene appeared calmer than in recent days, and traffic appeared to come back to life in Cairo.

Heavy gunfire broke out early Saturday morning around Tahrir Square.

Five human rights activists, including two from Amnesty International and one from Human Rights Watch, were released Friday by Egyptian military police, the two groups said in statements. They were among numerous people - including international reporters and Egyptian lawyers and activists - detained on Thursday in Cairo. Some of those detained remain in custody, according to the two groups' statements.

The death toll from the violent clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reached 11, Egypt's Health Ministry reported Friday.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. State Department issued a statement Friday indicating that several embassy vehicles were stolen in Cairo on January 28. The statement was in response to an online video that showed a white diplomatic van running into anti-government protesters near Tahrir Square. The joint statement said, "We have heard reports of their (stolen U.S. vehicles) use in violent and criminal acts."

A security force accompanied by a "gang of thugs" stormed the office of the Muslim Brotherhood's news website Friday and arrested the journalists, technicians and administrators present there, the group said on its website. Witnesses later saw those arrested taken to the Interior Ministry, the group said.

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest • World
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Philip

    Egypt is amoong the wealthiest African as well as Muslim nations. Egypt's minimum wage is higher than our own. Most of you people believe whatever talking-head you choose to believe, and never have opinions of your own, just the ones given you. The idea that this Egyptian rebellion is over money and desire to enjoy American style freedoms is laughable. No peoples of any nation or religion want a puppet as their leader. Mubarek is a puppet of Israel and the USA. get a clue already.

    February 6, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Zhelanne

    USA is guilty

    February 6, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Philip

    @Dianne...this uprising in Egypt is because of the US gov's puppet Mubarak's escapades, NOT a demanding or even an expecting of our gov. to do something about it. get a clue.

    February 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Philip

    And Dianne, you mention the price of oil going up, yet fail to mention the enormous profits being posted by Big oil corporations. Oil prices have NEVER been based on supply and demand like other commodities. example: diesel fuel is a by-product that is left over when crude oil is refined into gasoline, yet diesel fuel costs more. Try blaming OPEC for that snafu! The price at the pump is determined by profit-margins, not readily available supplies. (additional taxes notwithstanding)

    February 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. SpinnyLiberal

    Man, this guy is doing everything but what the people want. I guess that's par for the course for power drunk dictators. I hope the Egyptians can stick it out. At this point, whoever wins will do so from sheer will. You're close, Egyptians. Don't give up now.

    February 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bmw 116i

    thanks...
    Bmw team !

    February 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. brendalyn

    I think North America in general has got to stay out off other country's affairs

    February 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Philip

    @Brendalyn...if only it were that simple. (sigh)

    February 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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