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Middle East
Pictures show Mubarak's recovery
State TV airs video of the Egyptian leader in German hospital amid concerns over his health.
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2010 17:04 GMT
Mubarak is said to be recovering well from the surgery [Egyptian Ministry of Information]

Images of Egypt's president have appeared for the first time since he underwent surgery in Germany over a week ago.

Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for nearly three decades, was said to be recovering well following the operation on his gallbladder, which had sparked concerns over the state of his health.

Egyptian state television released the video on Tuesday of Mubarak, 81, talking to two doctors.

"He was upbeat and in very good spirits as usual," Dr Markus Buechler, head of his medical team, said.

"His resolve and willpower ... was very obvious this morning as he looked forward to going back to his normal life."

An Egyptian government spokesman said Mubarak would address the nation by the end of the week.

A statement by Egyptian authorities said he left intensive care at the Heidelberg hospital last Wednesday, and that tests showed he did not have cancer.

Speculation over health

The release of the video comes after a swirl of rumours and speculation over his health, after a marked lack of pictures following his surgery on March 6.

Amr El-Kahky, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Egypt, said news of Mubarak's improvement gave a boost to Cairo's main stock market index, which bounced back from a six per cent loss over the past two days.

in depth

  Profile: Hosni Mubarak
  Profile: Mohamed ElBaradei
  Why ElBaradei?
  Egypt activists rebuke constitution

Mubarak, who has never appointed a vice-president since he took over in 1981, handed powers temporarily to his prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, before the operation.

He has not said whether he will run again for a sixth six-year term in the 2011 presidential election.

Many Egyptians believe that if he does not, he will try to hand power to his politician son, Gamal, 46. Both Mubaraks deny any such plan.

In 2005, Mubarak allowed multi-candidate elections which he won overwhelmingly, but election observers said at the time there were  irregularities in the polls.

In parliamentary elections the same year, police closed down polling stations and judges who oversaw the election said some results were rigged in favour of government candidates.

Opposition groups in the country command little power, but dissidents have been galvanised by a new reform group founded by Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear agency.

Last month, ElBaradei flew to Cairo to a rapturous welcome from supporters and formed the National Association for Change.

He has said he is prepared to run against Mubarak in the 2011 presidential election.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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