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. Matt

    I haven't followed all the details of these extraordinary few weeks, but I have seen some wonderful small moments: protesters helping to clean Tahrir Square, Christians forming human chains to help Muslims pray, protesters stopping looters from going after the National Museum, etc. These are the moments that give me at least as much hope as the broad movements which have toppled the old regime. I'm very happy for the Egyptian people right now.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. ann smiting

    Now if the journalist will understand that Egypt is in AFRICA, the Egyptian Revoilution can be accurately reported. It is unfortunate that some of the journalists refuse to acknowledge the great continent of AFRICA as being Egypt's home. Instead these journalists keep referring to the "middle east."

    February 12, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      Egypt is an Arab state. While it and several other Arab states are located in Africa their peoples' culture, ethnicity, religion, history, etc. are of the Middle Eastern, not of African, origin.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      It's a shoe! Follow the shoe! – NO, it's a sandal! Follow the SANDAL! – SHOE! – SANDAL!!

      February 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    @teaPARTYdemocrat:

    No matter what party holds the Presidency, the other parties will oppose whatever that President is trying to do. It's the nature of politics...unfortunately.

    @Matt:

    What a lovely thing to say! I'm happy for them, too!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    @ann:

    It's on the *continent* of Africa, but that part of the *continent* is in the Middle East.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ann smiting

      There is no excuse for some of the journalists' failure to acknowledge that Egypt is in North Africa. By failing to tell the truth concerning this point such journalists put into question there credibility with respect to other issues as well.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      No way is Egypt middle east. Egypt is an African country. Africa is not Middle East. I don't understand this misnomer or the motivations behind it.
      No more than in South Africa where some Africans renamed themselves as afrikanna. Just plain stupidity.

      February 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. conoclast

    I for one am greatly inspired by the Egyptians' courage and discipline - may I even say they have restored my Audacious Hope? They've demonstrated that, even in this cynical world, humankind is still capable of great things; this has been so much more than just a revolution!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. ann smiting

    The Egyptian people and culture are of African origin. African and Arab are not mutually exclusive. There are African Arabs and Muslims throughout the continent of Africa. Even Saudi Arabia was originally a part of the African continent before the widening of the Red Sea.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • EnoughisEnough

      Listen the flag was the lodestone for the people of eygptian but thats not what this revolt was about . They just want the same human rights as any other human being

      February 13, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Darrin G

    I awoke with a feeling of elation of which I coud'nt immediately put my finger on until I began to think about Egypt.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • EnoughisEnough

      The whole world if we support it mate Nothing that different about the men,women or child on the other side of the planet all in all we all have to live a life!

      February 13, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. AMERICA 1st

    Its time to get on to other more important news. the egypt junk is getting old! its been 3 weeks now!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Yeah, bring on the Algerian, Yemeni, and Jordainian stuff

      February 12, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • EnoughisEnough

      Oi these people are no different than any other american's they are just people.
      Human beings just like you or me.
      You can only focus on your own ass for so long. In the end it will take the world world developing to make America work anyway!
      If other countries are developed as much as yours wages are the same so you can sell at the same price so you have a extra market so you can develop yourself....

      February 13, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    @ann:

    I know they're not mutually exclusive, and so do the journalists. So what's your beef here? Egypt has been influenced by many nations over the centuries. Greece and the city-state of Rome being two of them...definitely European. Many of the countries of Africa are considered being part of the Middle East, although they are part of Africa the *continent*. The *only* continent that has only one *country* is Australia. If people were calling *that* the Middle East, then perhaps the argument would be valid.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT

    Now if Egypt would only go Socialist,let's say like having people resettled on the Sinai Peninsula and renovate the Kibutses the Isrealis once established there during their occupation and build new ones. If the Israelis can do it,why not the Egyptians? At least that would keep food cheap and plentiful and ease unemployment.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      @fakeRUFFNUTT... quit posting as me... you don't even have a camaro or a three-wolves t-shirt..

      February 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Lol, fake ruffnutt fur...

      February 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    @ann: there is no failure to acknowledge what people already know. And if the people do *not* know, it is not the journalists place to give a geography lesson; it's their job to *report*. If people don't know that Egypt is in northern Africa, they need to look at a globe.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Africa is a continent not a region. Glad you woke up and came to your senses.

      February 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    @RUFFNUTT:

    Is that really you? Wow...a post with no joke in it? You go, man!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Maybe that WAS the joke:-)

      February 12, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      the fake ruffnutt even had to clone my capitol case name.. lame..

      February 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Warface

    Dear Egypt, this freedom must last. It must be full, not fraction must of homeland must taste it, but all must enjoy it. By all, i mean even the political prisoners in jail because someone said they were terrorists. Show em freedom they've never knew by protesting until they're actually liberated from prisons. Including those sent to guatanamo torture center! Let peace and freedom rain!

    February 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rodolfo

    Congratulations to all of Egypt, hope you make the best of your new found freedom greatvacationspots.net May you all live in peace!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tomcat

    hello banasy..has philip been around?

    February 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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