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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid