Tahrir Square a day after a revolution
February 12th, 2011
06:40 PM ET

Egypt: U.S. military officials meet with Middle East counterparts

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have rallied since January 25 on the streets of Egypt's major cities, calling for economic reforms, railing against corruption and demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. After daily street demonstrations, Mubarak decided to step down from the presidency of Egypt on February 11 and assigned the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to run the affairs of the country. Check out our full coverage and the latest tweets from CNN correspondents on the ground.

Developments, as confirmed by CNN, on the revolution in Egypt:

[Update 1:40 a.m. in Cairo, 6:40 p.m. ET] Egyptians on Saturday cleared burned cars, garbage and debris that accumulated over 18 days at Tahrir Square, a sign that Cairo and the rest of the country were beginning to get back to work while wondering what government comes next after the revolution.

A day after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, employees and businesses readied themselves for Sunday, the traditional start of the work week. The country's stock market is expected to reopen Wednesday.

Volunteers repainted black and white striped street curbs around a monument by the Egyptian Museum, which had been on the front line in street battles between Mubarak's foes and supporters.

[Update 12:08 a.m. in Cairo, 5:08 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone Saturday with the leaders of Britain, Jordan and Turkey to discuss developments in Egypt. He also welcomed the Egyptian military's announcement that it is committed to a democratic transition and will honor Egypt's international obligations, the White House said.

[Update 10:15 p.m. in Cairo, 3:15 p.m. ET] Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Hussein Tantawi on the phone Saturday, according to a ministry spokesman. No other details were available.

[Update 8:45 p.m. in Cairo, 1:45 p.m. ET] Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, plans to visit key Mideast allies Israel and Jordan this weekend, a Pentagon official told CNN on Saturday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi on Saturday, the sixth phone conversation with the minister since the situation began.

[Update 7:42 p.m. in Cairo, 12:42 ET] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the Egyptian military's intention to honor its peace treaty with Israel and said the agreement "is the cornerstone for peace and stability in the entire Middle East."

- Saudi Arabia's government said on Saturday it "welcomes the peaceful transition of power in Egypt," the official Saudi news agency reported.

- Military forces in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday detained three people for allegedly harassing others, though those individuals are expected to be released later, CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reported.

- Egypt's military urged the population to help bolster the country's economic condition, a sector that has been paralyzed in recent weeks by the country's unrest.

- The military urged residents to cooperate with the country's police forces, a reference to the animosity protesters had toward police that helped fuel the Egyptian uprising.

- Before a new Cabinet is formed, the Egyptian military called on people and the government to support the caretaker government.

- Egypt state television, citing a judicial source, reported that the country's former prime minister and former information and interior ministers were banned from traveling abroad due to a lawsuit filed against them.

Update 4:51 p.m. in Cairo, 9:51 a.m. ET] The head of the Egyptian stock market, Khaled Serry Seyam, said trading will resume Wednesday, February 16, Egyptian state TV reported Saturday.

[Update 4:43 p.m. in Cairo, 9:43 a.m. ET] Demonstrators brought into Tahrir Square a large marble statue whose purpose appeared to be to honor those killed in the unrest of the past 18 days.

[Update 3:13 p.m. in Cairo, 8:13 a.m. ET] The Egyptian military called on people and the government to support the caretaker government before a new Cabinet is formed. The military government also said it will honor all international agreements, which would include Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

[Update 3:06 p.m. in Cairo, 8:06 a.m. ET] A large number of soldiers entered Tahrir Square on foot and began clearing protesters' barricades and taking up positions. Demonstrators cheered the soldiers and patted them on the back as they ran by, and one soldier was hoisted onto protesters' shoulders. Protesters and soldiers worked together to clear debris and load it into dump trucks.

[Update 11:03 a.m. in Cairo, 4:03 a.m. ET] State-run newspapers - which frequently ran the line of Mubarak's government - published headlines such as "The people have brought down the regime" on Saturday.

Many gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday morning said they had stayed overnight amid the celebratory atmosphere. Many said they were happy with the military council taking over. Others said they would stay in the square until they get more concessions - such as the freeing of political prisoners. And some people said they would continue to protest "until Egypt is ruled by a civil government - not a military one."

[Update 10:10 a.m. in Cairo, 3:10 a.m. ET] Clean-up efforts began in the area in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square Saturday morning. Crews towed away burned cars that had been used as barricades and collected garbage.

Some people who spent the night in the square said they would continue to protest "until Egypt is ruled by a civil government, not a military one." Others waved Egyptian flags and painted images of the flag on their faces.

[Update 8:55 a.m. in Cairo, 1:55 a.m. ET] In a statement released late Friday, the Tunisian foreign ministry expressed "total satisfaction" over the announcement of Mubarak's resignation, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) news agency reported.

Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian activist whose Facebook page is credited with triggering the uprising, wrote on his Twitter feed early Saturday, "Dear Egyptians, Go back to your work on Sunday, work like never before and help Egypt become a developed country."

Ghonim, on leave from his job as a Google executive, earlier wrote urging people to try to raise 100 billion Egyptian pounds (17 billion U.S. dollars) "to rebuild Egypt."

Ghonim, who spent 10 days in custody after being seized by Egyptian security, also wrote, "Soon the ugly face of the regime will be supported by documents and evidence."

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. raven

    I hope that some of the older Egyptians are around long enough to benefit from some of the near-future changes that will come. How cool to be witness to that kind of change in your golden years. Happy Birthday , Egypt !

    February 12, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Take a gander at most(the few that are there) of the woman and how they are dressed. While the world is moving forward, even china and eastern europe, M uslim countries seem to be headed back to biblical times. Woman are the big losers in the middle east if all their countries turn full circle and revert back to hard line I slam(which has been slowly happening for the past 20 years). That's the real shame here!

      February 12, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Charanjit

      Along with dictators, the western powers who are used to controlling these countries by supporting these dictators are more nervous. They would rather have status quo, then risk loosing that control. Just listen to Fox news, who are suggesting this event is a disastor for US.

      February 12, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • charlieblu

      That was beautiful, my friend.
      Peace!

      February 12, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Good point.

      Send SMS message free to US, try: http://text.iiibc.com

      February 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/an-urbane-and-sophisticated-man/

      February 13, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. HS

    also demonstrate the limitations of those who propogate violent terrorism. what peaceful action achieved in three week, terrorism couldnt in decades

    February 12, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      WOW! The only reason it was basically peaceful was the military reframed from acting. Don't expect that very often. Very nieve on your part. IMO

      February 12, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • EnoughisEnough

      true true

      February 13, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. RR

    It's easily to energise people to overthrow a government on grounds of democracy. See Indonesia and Philippines. It's much harder to bring stability and order.

    It's better to have stability under a dictator than unstability in a democracy.

    People, get real.

    February 12, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
    • dave d

      Unstability???

      February 12, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • conoclast

      So you'd rather have 'stability' than democracy?? If so you've pretty well defined yourself as a fascist.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      A dictator is never better. Freedom never means instability. Insecurity for a time, perhaps. Til they get it straightened out. The world's about to see a new era of peace. Fear is so played..

      February 12, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. AMERICA 1st

    That egypt news is getting old. lets see something from the USA. thatd be more important than a bunch of raghead news that nothing to do with the USA!

    February 12, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    I am being real . S'why I said NEAR FUTURE changes. I realise these types of changes take a very long time. Its ok to be happy every now and then, Mr. Buzzkill.

    February 12, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. tomcat

    Thank you CNN, the headline alone speaks volumes. What in the name of (insert higher power) do you think the people are gonna do? Well, that protest worked...where to next....They have been there for umpteen days do you think they are just leaving? Just when you have heard or read eveything.....poof....another gem....Quoting the great American Ron White..." you can't fix stupid."

    February 12, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mmmoke

    Its a great moment for the world, the sheer courage of the Egyptian people with tanks surrounding them is unprecedented. After all the spin/demonizing of the Arab people out of the superpower media for decades, the people have shown the world that Muslim countries are not terrorists but real people with real passion for non-violent change.

    February 12, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mona

    Mubarak's stepping down is the best move he has done during his 30 years of rule. Thanks God it's over.

    February 12, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Warface

    Why dont u just wish em well? What a big worse dictator gona do for egypt, re-enslave the people? I dont think so. Egyptians should sue those nations who backed mubarak for all their pains he cause em. Supporting oppression is a case of crime against humanity and the state of egypt. The icc should look into this terrorism behavior of supper powers and make those sponsoring abusive regimes like tunisia and mubarak's account for their foul deeds. I bet the will be world peace if this happens. But it won't because the criminals sit own the court of justice.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      I wish the very best to the people of Egypt. I think, however, that the most likely developments in the near future will involve a military rule that will produce another dictator in the series of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Muhammad Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.When this dictator will feel secure enough he will organize national elections and 99% of Egyptians will vote fore him... or else.

      February 12, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      It's hard to move into a future when you're stuck in the past. It's not like it's been nightly thumbscrews for the past 30 years. Look forward, not back.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. ratna

    semoga ALLAH tetap melindungi rakyat Mesir amin

    February 12, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      @RATNA, Does ALLAH has something to do with this event? I don't think so, I thought people were the one forced Mubarak down. However, You can thank ALLAH, GOD, BUDDHA, WHATEVER, ETC.... I do congratulation to all the Egyptian people. I hope they will elect someone better for their country.

      February 12, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. ****Waldo****

    Thinker12. Can I call u thinker 123? hahaha Do u like egypt and are u married. How old R U.

    February 12, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. ****Waldo****

    Ratana what language is that. Ratana is a pretty name. Let me guess u r from yogoslavia or ukrain. Yes?

    February 12, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. personny

    Israel is becoming a nation. http://nopolicestate.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt_29.html

    February 12, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      You're out of sink, my friend. Israel have been an independent sovereign nation for 62 years, since 1948.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    I'm with raven: Happy Birthday, Egypt! May you be reap what you have sown. And may you, as a nation, get everything the people desire!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Oh, congratulation on being a couple!

      February 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. teaPARTYdemocrat

    I hope the best for Eygpt. All the fear-mongers at Fox need to stop wishing for the failure of OUR PRESIDENT. I didn't vote for Bush but I still had to clame him. These fear-monger want nothing good to happen to this world under Obamas watch and look for every opportunity to spray venom his direction. If health care reform wasn't called Obamacare, giving his the legecy of its creation, then these conservative wouldn't be in such an uproar. They are just mad they didn't propose it and get it passed. Repulicare would be an oxymoron though

    February 12, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
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