News / Middle East

    Suleiman Says Government Will Not Tolerate Prolonged Cairo Protests

    Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters are seen next to their tents at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, February 9, 2011
    Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters are seen next to their tents at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Egypt's vice president says the government will not tolerate prolonged anti-government protests in Cairo's main square, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered Tuesday in the latest effort to force the ouster of long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

    Egypt's state-run MENA news agency quotes Vice President Omar Suleiman as saying that a crisis triggered by 16 days of anti-Mubarak protests in Tahrir Square must end "as soon as possible." Suleiman was speaking late Tuesday to a group of Egyptian newspaper editors.

    MENA says Suleiman told the editors that the presence of anti-Mubarak activists and satellite television stations in the square was making Egyptian citizens "hesitant to go to work" and disrupting daily life. He accused the satellite television stations of "insulting" Egypt, without naming them.

    But, Suleiman also is quoted as saying the government does not want to deal with Egyptian society using "police tools" and prefers to use dialogue to try to address the protesters' demands.

    Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Tahrir Square Tuesday in one of the biggest protests of a two-week-old uprising seeking an immediate end to Mr. Mubarak's nearly 30 years in power. Thousands remained in the square Wednesday, after spending another night in makeshift shelters.

    Other activists protested for a second day outside Egypt's parliament, several blocks from the square. Some had slept on the ground overnight, hoping to block access to the building. They demanded the resignation of lawmakers elected late last year in a vote they say was rigged in favor of the ruling party.

    Mr. Mubarak has responded to the protests by declaring he will not to run for a sixth term in a September election and offering other political concessions, but the protesters have rejected those pledges as superficial.

    Many of those in the square Tuesday joined the protests for the first time. Some said they were inspired by the story of a 30-year old Egyptian executive at Internet giant Google, whom authorities detained in secret for 12 days after he helped to ignite the uprising with a Facebook page.

    Wael Ghonim received a thunderous welcome from the crowd as he appeared in the square a day after being released from custody. In a brief address, he said, "We will not abandon our demand - the departure of the regime." MENA says Suleiman rejected that call, insisting there will be "no ending of the regime."

    Suleiman also is quoted as warning against plans by some protesters for a campaign of civil disobedience, saying such a development would be "very dangerous" to society.

    Thousands of Egyptian university professors and lawyers also made their first appearance at the Cairo protest site Tuesday, while anti-Mubarak activists held substantial protests in other cities such as Alexandria.

    Earlier Tuesday, Vice President Suleiman said Mr. Mubarak issued decrees establishing separate committees to draft constitutional reforms and monitor their implementation. The reforms are aimed at relaxing eligibility rules for the presidency and imposing term limits - key demands of Egypt's opposition.

    Suleiman said Mr. Mubarak also formed a third committee to investigate deadly fighting last week between his supporters and anti-government activists in Tahrir Square.

    The Egyptian vice president held unprecedented talks with several opposition groups on Sunday, but representatives of the Cairo street protesters did not participate.

    The United Nations says protest-related violence in Egypt has killed more than 300 people since January 25.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

     

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora