El-Baradei Lashes Out at US & Urges Mubarak to Step Down Today

Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called the U.S. position on the Egyptian crisis “a disappointment” and condemned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s early Saturday morning speech as “almost an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptian people.” Elbaradei is a friend of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian protesters chant anti-government slogans, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Saying Egypt’s president must go, thousands defied the government’s curfew and filled the streets and squares of downtown Cairo Saturday in a resounding rejection of the longtime leader’s attempt to hang onto power with promises of reform and a new government. (AP/Khalil Hamra)

Voice of America reported:

Egyptian activist and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei says President Hosni Mubarak should step down in order to end days of protests against his rule.

The former head of the United Nations nuclear monitoring agency told media outlets Saturday that President Mubarak’s speech Friday, in which he pledged to form a new government, was “disappointing” to Egyptians.

ElBaradei said Mr. Mubarak has failed to meet the people’s political, economic and social demands. He said they want to build a new Egypt that is free and democratic.

ElBaradei returned to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, from Vienna in time to join massive protests Friday. He has said he is willing to lead an opposition movement. Media reports said Egyptian authorities fired water cannons at ElBaradei Friday and temporarily prevented him from leaving a mosque where he had taken shelter.

Earlier Saturday, he expressed doubts about reports that he is now under house arrest. He said he believes the reports of his house arrest were meant to scare people.

Asked on Aljaeera about the United States and others, “These states who are preaching democracy and freedom need to support the people or the regime. They can’t do both.”

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