ElBaradei urges Mubarak to quit



ElBaradei urges Mubarak to quit  Cairo: Egypt's prominent dissident Mohammed ElBaradei Tuesday called on the embattled President Hosni Mubarak to step down and leave the country as about 100,000 protesters gathered here at the Tahrir Square to demand Mubarak's expulsion, Xinhua reported.

"If the president steps down, dialogue will start with the government," ElBaradei said while highlighting the importance of peaceful demonstrations after the military announced it will never use force against the protestors.

The former chief of the UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who returned to Egypt last Thursday, has claimed that he could lead an interim government after Mubarak steps down.

"What I have heard (from protesters) is that they want this to end, if not today (Tuesday), then by Friday maximum," ElBaradei told Al Arabya, adding that the Egyptians have marked Friday as a "departure day".

"I hope President Mubarak goes before this and leaves the country after 30 years of rule... I don't think he wants to see more blood."

On Monday, Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that the president appointed him to hold immediate dialogue with the opposition parties.

Mass protests against poverty, high unemployment and government corruption have entered eight day Tuesday, after more than 100 people were killed and thousands were injured.

IANS