If I resign today there will be chaos: Mubarak

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CAIRO - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wants to resign but worries that Egypt will sink into chaos if he does, the leader told US broadcaster ABC.

“If I resign today there will be chaos,” Mubarak was quoted as saying in the interview, which appeared on the ABC website.

The ongoing unrest in his country has upset the president, who has ruled for nearly 30 years.

“I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other,” he said, referring to clashes between his supporters and anti-government protesters.

At least eight people have died and hundreds were injured in the violence since Wednesday.

The leader was unfazed by insults being hurled at him by the reformist camp, which is demanding his immediate resignation.

“I don’t care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country, I care about Egypt,” Mubarak said.

According to the report, he wavered when asked about his attitude toward the US, his main ally, which has been pushing for him to speed up his departure. Washington gives Egypt about $1.5 billion in aid annually, mostly support to the military.

“You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now,” he said he told US President Barack Obama.

Mubarak said in a speech this week that he never intended to run for re-election, after his fifth term expires in September, but that he would not step down early.

Mubarak, according to the report, remains in the presidential palace in Cairo with his family, heavily guarded by troops, tanks and barbed wire.

The report appeared to clear up questions about the whereabouts of his son Gamal, who was also said to be in the Cairo presidential palace during the interview.

The elder Mubarak told ABC that he never planned for his son to succeed him. Gamal had long been considered a possible heir to the presidency - until the recent unrest, which saw Egypt’s largest protests in a generation, demanding democratic and economic reforms.

Separately, ABC quoted analysts as estimating the Mubarak family net worth ranged from $40 billion to $70 billion, though it was unclear how the calculation was made.

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