Protest leaders meet with Egyptian PM

by
February 5, 2011

The Hindu

Abdel—Rahman Youssef, a youth activist, says he and other protest figures met with Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq late Friday. He underlines the meeting dealt only with ways to arrange Mr. Mubarak’s departure and that protests will continue until that happens.

Protest leaders say they have met with Egypt’s Prime Minister to discuss ways to ease President Hosni Mubarak out of office so negotiations can begin on the nation’s future.

Abdel—Rahman Youssef, a youth activist, says he and other protest figures met with Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq late Friday. He underlines the meeting dealt only with ways to arrange Mr. Mubarak’s departure and that protests will continue until that happens.

Under one proposal, Mr. Mubarak would deputize Vice-President Omar Suleiman with his powers and step down “in some way, either in a real departure or a political one,” Mr. Youssef says.

Mubarak holds meeting with economy team

President Hosni Mubarak is holding meetings with his economy team as thousands of anti—government protesters remain camped out on Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square.

The political crisis that erupted since January 25 has cost the country an estimated $3.1 billions, with the ensuing violence driving a nation once seen as a pillar of stability to the brink of chaos.

Protests enter 12th day as curfew is defied

Protests against Mr. Mubarak were held throughout the night and into early Saturday as thousands held out in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square during a 12th straight day of protests, and demonstrators in Alexandria disregarded a curfew.

Hundreds of people in the coastal city demanded Mr. Mubarak step aside after nearly 30 years in office.

The protests that erupted last week led Mr. Mubarak to announce he would not seek another term in office, but that has not satisfied protestors who vowed to persist until he is no longer president.

The protests overnight were primarily peaceful although al-Jazeera television reported that the military was believed to have fired into the air early Saturday at Tahrir Square.

The overnight curfew was shortened three hours to 7 pm to 6 am (1700 to 0400 GMT), state-run television said.

Egyptian scribe dies of gunshot wound

Meanwhile, the first death of a journalist covering the protests was reported. An Egyptian journalist died of a gunshot wound suffered a week ago in Cairo, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud, who was working for the newspaper al-Ta’awun, was hit by what the newspaper described as sniper fire while filming a confrontation between security forces and protestors on January 28 near Tahrir Square.

Numerous journalists from around the world have been detained or assaulted while covering the protests in Egypt with the rate of incidents targeting media soaring since Thursday.

Al-Jazeera said its Cairo bureau was stormed and destroyed by unknown attackers on Friday and its bureau chief, Abdel Fatah Fayed, and journalist Ahmad Youssif were detained by Egyptian security agents.

In Washington, United States President Barack Obama on Friday appealed to Mr. Mubarak to listen to his people and make “the right decision” about the best way forward for the country as the White House warned of greater instability.

To read more, visit: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1158611.ece

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