Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has warned political opponents and reformists against "chaos" in his first live speech since his return from surgery in Germany.
Mr. Mubarak told workers in Cairo Thursday that Egypt is at a "critical juncture," and there is "no place" at this time for those who confuse "change and chaos."
He commented in the wake of a series of protests by demonstrators who have called for constitutional reforms, including an increase in the minimum wage.
Mr. Mubarak also challenged his opponents to "offer more than slogans" and spell out their proposed agendas for the country.
The 82-year-old leader has been in power in Egypt for almost 30 years. Mr. Mubarak has not said if he will run again in presidential elections scheduled for next year.
His political challengers include the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei. He agreed to lead a coalition pushing for political reforms after he retired as head of the United Nations nuclear agency last year.
Some activists want ElBaradei to run for president in the 2011 elections.
President Mubarak underwent gall bladder surgery in Germany in March. He spent time recuperating at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.