Egypt crisis: Obama downplays fears of Muslim Brotherhood
On Sunday, an anti-Mubarak protester sleeps in a burnt out van that makes up part of the barricade that protects Tahrir Square.
February 6th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Egypt crisis: Obama downplays fears of Muslim Brotherhood

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 1:48 a.m. Cairo, 6:48 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama downplays  the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has voiced opposition to the United States, ascending to power in Egypt once its president, Hosni Mubarak, leaves office.  "They don't have majority support in Egypt, but they are well-organized," Obama tells Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Sunday.

[Update 1:25 a.m. Cairo, 6:25 p.m. ET] Former ABC News journalist Sam Donaldson on Sunday stood by recent compliments he gave to Al-Jazeera regarding its coverage of the Egypt protests, telling CNN's Howard Kurtz that the network did "a service in fanning the flames in Egypt."

[Update 12:37 a.m. Cairo, 5:35 p.m. ET] The U.S. State Department  issues an updated travel warning for Egypt, continuing to recommend U.S. citizens make every effort to leave the North African country. It also adds the U.S. government is not planning additional charter trips. Read the full advisory here.

[Update 12:20 a.m. Cairo, 5:20 p.m. ET] A U.S. State Department release on Sunday says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday night with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. During that meeting, Clinton stressed that a "broad cross-section of political actors and civil society" should be part of the government's transformation process.

[Update 12:14 a.m. Cairo, 5:14 p.m. ET] State-run Nile TV reports that Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq called the network to announce that Google executive Wael Ghonim, missing for more than a week, will be released Monday.

[Update 8 p.m. Cairo, 1 p.m. ET] Multiple bursts of automatic gunfire - apparently warning shots - could be heard in Tahrir Square near the Egyptian Museum. The incident marked an escalation of tempers between the military and protesters. After the army fired the warning shots, hundreds of protesters surrounded the military positions in the square, CNN's Ivan Watson reported.

[Update 6:58 p.m. Cairo, 11:58 a.m. ET] Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said authorities have been told "not to bother" human rights activists and journalists working at anti-government protests. If there have been such problems, they are "not intended," Shafiq told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday. Arrests of journalists and human rights activists "are not allowed at all," he said.

[Update 5:40 p.m. Cairo, 10:37 a.m. ET] Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the United States cannot "micromanage the process" in Egypt, but that the Obama administration needs to make its goals clear. "Arriving at a Democratic solution is important, which is in fact inclusive, Democratic, peaceful and rapid," Albright said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

[Update 5:10 p.m. Cairo, 10:07 a.m. ET] Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said that the situation in Egypt remains in a standoff as long as President Hosni Mubarak refuses to leave. "I hope somebody will send a message, I don't know in which way, to President Mubarak that for the sake of the country, for his own dignity, to defuse this crisis, he better step down," ElBaradei told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Watch Zakaria's take on whether Egypt is a revolution or a revolt.

"Everybody is ready to give him the dignified out he is entitled to as a former president of Egypt," ElBaradei told Zakaria.

- During his CNN interview Sunday, ElBaradei also said he would refuse to meet with the Egyptan government unless Mubarak steps down. Other oppositions groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have meet with the government. ElBaradei said the Egyptian people are getting confusing messages about whether Mubarak should leave office, referring to a U.S. envoy's comments that Mubarak must stay in place during a transition of power and the Obama administration saying he should leave soon.

[Update 3:09 p.m. Cairo, 8:09 a.m. ET] Some banks in Egypt have opened and it's now the start of the work week in Egypt. Banks had been closed for days during protests. Meanwhile, the mood in Tahrir Square, the site of pro-Hosni Mubarak and anti-Hosni Mubarak clashes last week, was festive and peaceful as Christians and Muslims held hands and sang. The gathering appears to be strong as people continue to push for Mubarak to leave office.

[Update 11:46 a.m. Cairo, 4:46 a.m. ET]It is a "huge mistake" for Egypt to shut down the internet or use violence against protesters, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday.

Some banks in Egypt were open Sunday, according to the country's minister of finance. Some banks opened as early as 8:30 a.m. local time.  Banks have been closed in recent days amid anti-government protests.

[Update 10:00 a.m. in Cairo, 3:00 a.m. ET] Egyptian Coptic Christians are expected to gather at Tahrir square to pray for those who have lost their lives since the protests started. Muslim protesters said they will form a ring around the Christians to protect them during the service.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it will meet with the country's vice president, days after the group said it would not negotiate until President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.

Opposition activists formed a human chain outside one of the entrances to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday to prevent two Egyptian military tanks from crossing through barricades into what has effectively become an anti-Mubarak enclave.

The death toll from the violent clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reached 11, Egypt's Health Ministry has said. Nearly 1,000 people have been injured in clashes in Tahrir Square.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt issued a statement 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.

Members of the general secretariat of Egypt's National Democratic Party submitted their resignations, Egyptian state television reported.

Among those submitting their resignations from leadership positions in Egypt's National Democratic Party were Gamal Mubarak, Mubarak's son, state television reported.

The head of the Egyptian stock market told the nation's official news agency that it has canceled a decision to reopen the stock market on Monday. The markets remain closed for now.

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. AverageAmerican

    duke. You could copy and paste one post from you and use it for every story. Ss sarah! Grr.. Don't conform! Grr.. Don't work for a living! Grr.... (Enter generic Antiquated hippie propaganda here)!! Grr..

    February 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Massgopguy

    Let's not forget that the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood were formed in the 13th Waffen SS in Bosnia. Still like them Duke?

    February 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Imannn

    il baled kolo zahlehneen. No one's to blame them. I am Egyptian American and I'm so prouddd! Mubarak is just a crook at heart, he is class less and gains desire to rub it in. He's made some wise decisions in some cases, but doesn't deserve the credit he is requesting. Islam is based on peace, and fighting for you're country is not in the quaran. It's an opition. They're not doing anything for Allah, but for their, and their childrens freedom. Rubina Yostor, Rubina Yostor

    February 11, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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