Mubarak to address nation among reports of pending resignation

February 11th, 2011 - 12:16 am ICT by BNO News  

CAIRO (BNO NEWS) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will address the nation on Thursday evening, the state-run Nile Television reported amid media reports that he will be announcing his resignation.

Egypt plunged into chaos late last month when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo and other major cities to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Some of them clashed with security forces, killing as many as 300 people and injuring thousands more.

CNN, NBC News, Fox News, Al Arabiya Television and other media outlets cited senior Egyptian government officials as saying that Mubarak would be stepping down on Thursday evening and transfer his powers to either Vice President Omar Suleiman or a joint military council. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, however, denied the reports.

Earlier, Shafik told the BBC that the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak is “under discussion.” Meanwhile, an Egyptian army commander told protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square that their demands would be realized without providing other details.

The state-run Nile Television reported that Mubarak would be addressing the nation from the presidential palace in Egypt later on Thursday evening. It did not say if the statement would be live or if it was pre-recorded.

Also on Thursday, a statement from the Egyptian Higher Council of the Armed Forces was read on state-run television. “Stemming from the armed forces’ responsibility and committing to the protection of the people, safeguarding their interest and security, and keen on the safety of the homeland, the citizens and the achievements of the great Egyptian people, and asserting the legitimate rights of the people,” the statement said.

The statement further said that the Higher Council of the Armed Forces convened on Thursday to discuss the situation and decided to “remain in continuous session” to discuss what measures and arrangements could be taken to “safeguard the homeland and its achievements, and the aspirations of the great Egyptian people.”

In the United States, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs declined to provide specific comments on the situation in Egypt. “We’re watching a very fluid situation,” the spokesman said aboard Air Force One.

Gibbs said President Barack Obama was watching the news unfold on television during his flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Marquette, Michigan. He said there were no plans for Obama to make a statement.

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