Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Prime minister praises opposition, says Mubarak likely will not step down

February 4, 2011 | 10:48 am

Prayer Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says opposition forces are helping Egypt "correct" its "path," CNN is reporting.

However, while some government ministers joined protesters in Tahrir Square Friday, Shafiq and others continued to express support for Mubarak.

In remarks made on state television Friday and rebroadcast by the Al Arabiya network, Shafiq predicted Mubarak probably would not turn over power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

"We need the president for legislative reasons," Al Arabiya quoted Shafiq as saying.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told CNN that Mubarak would try to stay in office through the fall elections. Gheit told CNN’s Hala Gorani, “outside forces cannot dictate transition of power."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Tens of thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters gather in Liberation Square on Friday in what turned out to be a peaceful day. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times