Mubarak started his speech with deep sorrow for the people who have lost their lives during ongoing protests and later apologized to the families of protesters killed in clashes with the security forces in recent weeks and said those responsible for their deaths would be punished.
Responding to the rumors that he had left the country he said, “”I will not separate from the soil until I am buried beneath it.”
Mr. Mubarak’s speech reached the protesters in Tahrir square with dismay that after completion anti-Mubarak chanted, “go out, leave the nation, we are fed up”.
Mr Mubarak did try to reach out to young people, praising them and promising that the blood of their “martyrs” would “not go down the drain”. He repeated his commitments to constitutional reforms and a peaceful transition of power in September’s election.
Meanwhile, anti-Mubarak have promised to take to the streets in their large numbers until Mr. Mubarak bow down to their demand.
“We are not stopping,” said one of the protesters.
Mr Mubarak said he would delegate some powers to Vice-President Omar Suleiman, but the details of this remain unclear, as according to the Egyptian constitution the power given to him is only a symbolic, with that power he is not allowed to resolve the parliament, endorse constitution review etc.
President Mubarakhowever had empowered Suleiman to preserve security and stability in Egypt, and restore normality – and he urged the protesters to return home.
Speaking after Mubarak’s address the Vice President appealed protesters to go back to their work places and develop their Country.
“Youth of Egypt, go back home, back to work, the nation needs you to develop, to create. Don’t listen to radio and TV, whose aim is to tarnish Egypt,” he said.
Mr. Mubarak’s speech disappointed thousands of protesters who expected to hear last address from him, only to be taken to surprise on his stand of stay in office and transfer all power only after September’s presidential election.
“30 years in power and you failed, do you think you can make changes in 6 remaining moths?” wondered one of the anti -Mubarak.
Negotiations between the government and opposition groups have made little progress.
Meanwhile two opposition parties have announced their withdrawal from the negotiations, describing the government side as “arrogant and too directive, and that they are not ready to hear to our opinions.”
Government has been trying persuading the opposition parties for the national dialogue to get way out of the crisis.
Before Mubarak’s speech delivery, Egypt’s military announced it was standing ready to “protect the nation”. State news agency Mena reported that the high council of the armed forces was in continuous session “to protect the nation, its gains and the aspirations of the people.”