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Should President Mubarak go now? The White House steps up the pressure

Gabriela Pomeroy | 09:40 UK time, Friday, 4 February 2011




As thousands of protesters mass in Cairo's Tahrir square today for the 11th day of the uprising, the Obama administration is in talks with Egyptian officials about an immediate exit strategy for President Mubarak.

The demonstrators say it's the "day of departure" -  the final farewell push - and the atmosphere in the square is tense. Riot police are on standby and protesters have stacked piles of rocks and built barbed wire barricades.

The New York Times reports the Obama plan would mean a transitional government under the new Vice President Omar Suleiman. It might be able to invite opposition groups including the banned Muslim Brotherhood.  But for now Mr Mubarak clings on, telling ABC's Christiane Amanpour in an interview yesterday that he feared anarchy if he stood down right away.

"I am fed up," he said. "After 62 years in public service I have had enough. I want to go. If I resign today there will be chaos."

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told worshippers at prayers this morning that the unrest in Egypt is inspired by Iran's own revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood responded on their website that they see it as an Egyptian People's Revolution not an Islamic one.

Bassem emailed us from Cairo:

I am supporting Mubarak again from all my heart. He is totally right to stay another 6 months because if he will resign now, the Muslim Brotherhood will take everything in charge and that will be the end of Egypt ! I was in Tahrir Square on Wednesday and I saw everything by my own eyes. I saw the clashes and I saw how the Muslim Brotherhood were putting fire in everything and paying the people to stay and rebel against Mubarak.

And Gordon emailed us from France:

I have just returned from Southern Egypt, where I found the people overwhelmingly pro-Mubarak (say 80%). The BBC (and a lot of the Western World) is concentrating far too much on what is going on in Tahrir Square, rather than elsewhere. Such naive coverage is causing a lot of resentment.

On the show this evening be talking about events in Egypt as they unfold. Post your thoughts here  and if you’re in Egypt now, tell us what you're seeing.

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