Mubarak: If I Leave Now, Egypt Will be in Chaos

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appears on state television Feb. 1, 2011.

Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in his first interview with an American broadcast network since massive protests across his country have called for his resignation that he would leave office but is refusing because then the country would sink into chaos.

Mubarak also told ABC News' Christiane Amanpour in an interview published Thursday that President Obama doesn't "understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."

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The interview comes as bloody, violent clashes take place between anti-government protesters and supporters of Mubarak, who's ruled over the country for 30 years. The clashes began Wednesday, leaving at least three dead and more than 600 injured.

Mubarak told Amanpour, "I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other."

Mubarak didn't give a definite answer when Amanpour asked if he felt betrayed by his longtime ally, the United States. Mr. Obama said in a televised speech Monday that Mubarak's government must start preparing for an orderly transition of power "now".

Mubarak told Amanpour that he told Mr. Obama in a phone conversation that he would not step down soon.

"You don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now," Mubarak said he told Mr. Obama.

While the clashes proceeded Thursday, Mubarak continues to occupy the country's presidential palace with his family, which Amanpour reports is "heavily guarded by armed troops, tanks and barbed wire."

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for

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