EGYPT: Mubarak to address nation after rebuffing U.S. suggestion to step down
Egyptian state television announced Tuesday night that President Hosni Mubarak would address the nation, after a special U.S. envoy was reportedly rebuffed in urging Mubarak to step down.
The state TV announcement said only that Mubarak would address the public with "an important statement." Al Arabiya news network reported earlier that the embattled Egyptian president would announce that he won't run for reelection this autumn but will stay in office until that vote, expected in October.
The announced address was set after special U.S. envoy Frank G. Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt, met with Mubarak to deliver what sources said was a message that he should make way for a new Egyptian leadership that doesn't include him. The sources said Wisner's message was rebuffed.
Mubarak has said little since the clamor for his ouster began more than a week ago and has escalated to paralyze the Middle East's most populous nation. A demonstration in Cairo on Tuesday drew at least 200,000 protesters, the largest so far in demand that the 82-year-old authoritarian leader resign after nearly 30 years as president.
-- Carol J. Williams