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Egypt's opposition urges more protests as army calls for calm

RIA Novosti

16:39 02/02/2011 CAIRO, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Egyptian opposition has called on protesters to continue rallying until embattled President Hosni Mubarak steps down, as the army urged protesters to get off the streets and maintain calm.

The Egyptian coalition forces issued a statement on Wednesday saying they were ready for a dialogue with Vice President Omar Suleiman, but only after Mubarak's resignation.

The veteran president appointed Egypt's intelligence chief Suleiman to the post on Friday, urging him to start immediate talks with all the country's political forces, including the opposition, to find the way out of the crisis.

Mubarak, 82, said on Wednesday he had no plans to step down and will serve eight more months until his term ends, but will not seek reelection for a six-year term of office in September.

The opposition called on protesters to hold a mass rally on Friday in all Egyptian provinces.

Meanwhile, the army called on protesters to end rallies and return home to "restore calm, security and stability" in the country as soon as possible.

"The Egyptian Army has always been with its people and now we are speaking the language of love for Egypt with you, not the language of force," spokesman Osman Ismail said.

Several clashes were reported between Mubarak opponents and supporters in the Egyptian capital's Tahrir square on Wednesday. Al-Arabiya TV reported the president's supporters attacked a journalist team and broke their camera.

Both houses of Egypt's parliament suspended their work on Wednesday until the results of the late 2010 election, marred by accusations of fraud, are revised, state television said.

A revision of the contested parliamentary election results is one of the opposition's main demands.

Egyptian authorities moved to cut curfew hours in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez by three hours on Wednesday.

The Internet was also partially restored in the protest-hit country after a five-day suspension. International mobile phone services were restored on January 29.

Anti-government protests, which saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demanding long-serving President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, broke out in Egypt last week. The unrest, which is seen by many analysts as a major threat to repressive governments in the region, has already claimed the lives of at least 300 people and injured several thousand.

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