The Egyptian people reacted with fury to President Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to cling on to power.
The big question in Egypt remained whether the military is with the president or the people.
Indications up until Friday suggested it was behind the protestors, but a communique issued before Friday prayers announced its support for plans to hold “free and fair elections” in September.
This came after a defiant Mubarak re-affirmed on state televison that he was staying put.
A former Israeli cabinet minister, long-known to Egypt’s embattled leader, says Mubarak is looking for an honourable way out.
Binyamin Ben Eliezer of Israel’s Labor Party says he spoke with Mubarak just hours before the president spoke late on Thursday – and said Mubarak knew this was “the end of the road”.
With hundreds of thousands taking to the streets for the third week demanding a change of regime, can there be an honourable exit for the president? And is the army about to take sides?
Joining us to discuss these issues are: Maha Azzam, an associate fellow at the think tank Chatham House; Adel Dar-wish, the political editor of Middle East Magazine; and Scott Lucas, a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham, an editor of the news website EA World View.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Friday, February 11, 2011.