News / Africa

Mubarak Huddles With Advisers as Protests Continue

An Egyptian walks in front of a closed currency exchange office as banks, schools and the stock market remained closed for the second working day in Cairo, Egypt, January 31, 2011
An Egyptian walks in front of a closed currency exchange office as banks, schools and the stock market remained closed for the second working day in Cairo, Egypt, January 31, 2011

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met with his economic team Saturday to discuss the financial impact of the country's political crisis, as thousands of anti-government protesters continued their vigil in Cairo's main square.

Egyptian state media reports Mr. Mubarak's talks included the prime minister, the ministers of oil and finance and the central bank governor. The trade minister Samiha Fawzi Ibrahim said Saturday that exports fell 6 percent in January because of the unrest. Some estimates say the unrest is costing the country $310 million a day.

Egyptian soldiers are trying to coax anti-Mubarak demonstrators in Tahrir Square to remove their barricades. Some demonstrators have vowed to continue protests until Mr. Mubarak resigns, although the Egyptian leader says he will not leave until his term ends. Opposition protests are also continuing Saturday in Alexandria.

Several opposition leaders are holding talks Saturday with Vice President Omar Suleiman. However, the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt's largest opposition group – says it is not willing to join talks until Mr. Mubarak resigns.

Opposition protesters had declared Friday the "day of departure" for Mr. Mubarak. Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied in Cairo and other cities where they called for his immediate resignation. In a Thursday interview with ABC, Mr. Mubarak said he would like to leave office now but fears the move would cause Egypt to sink deeper into chaos.  President Mubarak has ruled Egypt for about 30 years.

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