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Egypt's Mubarak vows not to run for new term

RIA Novosti

01:00 02/02/2011 CAIRO, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has announced he will not run for a new term in office in September elections and will focus his efforts on crucial reforms to resolve the current political crisis in the country.

"In all sincerity, regardless of the current circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term," the 82-year-old Mubarak said in a speech aired on national TV late on Tuesday.

He added that he would work during the final months of his current term to carry out major political reforms to ensure a "peaceful transfer of power."

Egypt has been engulfed in street violence since January 25, which has already claimed the lives of at least 150 people and injured some 4,000. The protesters want President Hosni Mubarak to resign and demand reforms.

Egypt's leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei earlier on Tuesday called on embattled Mubarak to step down and leave the country. The incumbent's resignation is a prerequisite to dialogue between the opposition and the government, ElBaradei told the al-Arabiya TV channel.

Political experts believe that the departure of Mubarak, who successfully ruled one of the most influential nations in the Arab world for 30 years, may drastically change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.

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