No 10 calls for 'urgent' change in Egypt amid rumours of Mubarak resignation

There was euphoria on the streets of Cairo today as the rumours spread
There was euphoria on the streets of Cairo today as the rumours spread

By Ian Dunt

Downing Street has said that change is required in Egypt "urgently", amid signs that President Hosni Mubarak was about to step down..

In a piece of news which sent shivers of euphoria through the crowds in Cairo, there were widespread that the president would finally give up his attempt to cling to power.

But when his televised address did begin, it became apparent that President Mubarak still had no intention of stepping down before the planned elections in September.


"We want to see people of Egypt resolve their differences peacefully themselves - as a sovereign nation," William Hague said during a Twitter Q&A session.

Speaking to politics.co.uk, Professor Magdy Ishak-Hanna, vice-chairman of the British Egyptian Society, said this was an "extremely dangerous" time for the country.

"More or less the army is saying 'we're in charge now', he said.

"The army saw the country was on the edge of oblivion and they decided to take over.

"What's going on in Egypt now is extremely dangerous. The army have decided to be in control of everything."

Meanwhile, the British government was issuing a tough message to Egypt over the whereabouts of Hisham Morsi, a British citizen last seen being removed from Tahrir Square on January 31st.

"We had been given public and private assurances by the Egyptian government that no activists remained in detention," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

"In light of this, I call on the Egyptian authorities to urgently clarify whether Mr Morsi has been arrested, and if so, to inform our embassy of his whereabouts and provide our embassy with full and immediate consular access."

Comments

Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.