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Mubarak Says Leaving Now Would Spur Chaos, ABC Reports

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, beset by protesters demanding his immediate resignation, told ABC News that if he left office right away it would lead to further chaos in the country.

“If I resign today there will be chaos,” Mubarak told Christiane Amanpour of ABC News, according to a summary of the interview on the ABC News website. Mubarak told Amanpour that he would like to leave now, but if he did the Muslim Brotherhood party would take over.

Mubarak said he told President Barack Obama that the U.S. doesn’t “understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now,” according to ABC News.

Mubarak said he was “fed up with being president” and “never intended to run again. I never intended Gamal to be president after me,” ABC News quoted him as saying. Gamal Mubarak is the president’s son.

Mubarak told ABC News that he was unhappy with pro-government groups clashing with anti-government protesters yesterday in Cairo, after Mubarak announced his plans to leave following elections later this year. He told ABC News that no force would be used against protesters, according to the news website.

ABC News reported that newly appointed vice president Omar Suleiman also told Amanpour that the government would “never authorize force against the people,” according to the website. Suleiman told ABC News that protesters had “legitimate grievances” and that the government had met their demands by agreeing to step down after elections as well as carrying out constitutional reforms.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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