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Egypt Awakes to a New Dawn and Era

Updated 11:35 a.m.

CAIRO - Egyptian protesters were jubilant Saturday over their success in ousting former President Hosni Mubarak, but many vowed to stay camped in a central Cairo square until they hear "clear assurances" that the military will meet their demands for democracy.

Burnt-out vehicles were towed away while people, including young activists wearing surgical masks, swept the streets and hauled away mounds of trash. Soldiers removed barricades to open at least a road leading to Tahrir, or Liberation, Square after a night of euphoric celebration and nearly three weeks of protests that forced Mubarak to surrender power to the military.

Egypt's new military rulers said on Saturday the existing cabinet would stay until a new one was formed and the country would respect international treaties, a statement that will reassure Israel and the United States, Reuters reports.

"The current government and governors undertake to manage affairs until the formation of a new government," a senior army officer said on state-run TV Saturday.

Egypt's treaties include a 1979 peace accord with U.S. ally Israel, which has been watching developments in Egypt with concern, Reuters reports.

Many wore placards saying "Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're building Egypt."

The country's nighttime curfew has been relaxed. It now starts at midnight instead of 8 p.m., and ends at 6 a.m. The relaxation of the curfew is a sign that life is returning to normal.

Airport officials say current and ex-government officials have been banned from traveling without permission from either the state prosecutor or the armed forces. Mubarak's regime has faced long-standing allegations of corruption.

Officials say they have a list of officials from the former regime. Notorious former Information Minister Ana el-Fiqi allegedly decided to not board a London-bound plane he had already sent his luggage to after learning of the ban. Some media reports claim el-Fiqi is now under house arrests.

Complete Coverage: Egypt: The Road Ahead

Reporting from Cairo Saturday, CBS News correspondent and anchor Harry Smith said it was a glorious day, with sunshine and clear, blue skies. "Perhaps that bodes well for the future of these 80 million Egyptians," he said.

On "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Sarah Hawass, a 23-year-old Egyptian and student at the American University in Cairo, who had been demonstrating for most of the 18 days, said, "It was an enormous party. Everyone was going nuts. Everyone was ecstatic. It was a moment of euphoric joy.

"People could not believe this happened, and they were really overwhelmed," she said. "People are still in a state of celebration. It's going to take a while for all of this to sink in."

The morning after Tahrir Square is again teeming with people who are celebrating their newfound freedom. And as Egyptians woke up today, they woke up to a reality most of them could never have imagined.

It was clean-up time in Tahrir Square today. Volunteers were everywhere - sweeping, picking up garbage, erasing graffiti.

Make no mistake, says Smith: The cleaning is a metaphor for a fresh start.

"Yes, we clean," one woman told Smith. "We got rid of the people who were not honest. And now we are cleaning the streets. We are cleaning everything. We want our country to be clean from every single thing that can be keep us from being better."

Last night's celebration lasted until dawn. Egyptians from all walks of life made their way to the square - to dance, to sing, to shout.

The military has already communicated with the demonstration organizers and said they want Tahrir Square cleared by curfew tonight. So, the first parlay, if you will, in this entire back-and-forth between protesters and the military has been made.

The demonstrations, the people continue to pour into the square. Whether or not people will want to leave by midnight tonight remains to be seen.

Some took down their makeshift tents, returning blankets donated by Islamic charities and heading home. Others vowed to stay put until the military, which has pledged to shepherd reforms for greater democracy, issues a promised statement on its next steps. Those could include the dissolution of parliament, creation of a presidential council and a transitional government.

Sources tell CBS News the army is telling folks nicely to go home, and as the day progresses those request will become firmer.

Military Statements

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has issued three communiques so far, and the fourth was expected soon to announce the military's plans.

"We have to see how the army will orchestrate a democratic transfer of power. We have to wait and see," said Ali Mohammed, a sales manager camped out on the square.

Under a banner reading "the people managed to oust the regime," two other protesters argued about whether to clear the downtown square near the famed Egyptian museum.

Khaled Abdel-Hamid, a member of a coalition of groups behind the protests, said they have no unified leadership to determine when they should leave. But he said there was a consensus that the square would not emptied until the army speaks again.

"The army hasn't laid out exactly what it intends to do in the coming days, therefore, we are here and will remain here," Abdel-Hamid said.

Shopkeeper Gomaa Abdel-Maqsoud says he's been in Tahrir Square since the protests began on Jan. 25 and is ready to go. He says "I have never seen such happiness in peoples' faces before; what else do I want?" he asked.

Nadal Saqr, a university professor, insisted protesters should stay until the army offers "clear assurances" that their demands for democracy are met.

Elsewhere, Egyptians in coffee houses and on the street scoured newspapers for details about the astonishing events from the day before -- when hundreds of thousands marched on Mubarak's palaces in Cairo and Alexandria and besieged state TV, leading the military to effectively carry out a coup at the please of protesters.

Pro-government papers along with state-run TV and radio, which had long been forced to toe the ruling party line, shifted their editorial policy and congratulated the Egyptian people.

The once pro-Mubarak paper Al-Ahram daily ran a front page headline declaring "the people ousted the regime. The Egyptian youth forced Mubarak to leave. Egyptians have been celebrating until morning, with victory in the first popular revolution in their history."

State TV, which was the site of mass protests against government propaganda, promised in a statement that it "will be honest in carrying its message."

The 82-year-old former leader, meanwhile, remained with his family in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to local officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Mubarak's downfall at the hands of the biggest popular uprising in the modern history of the Arab world had stunning implications for the United States and the West, Israel, and the region, unsettling rulers across the Mideast.

President Barack Obama's senior military adviser was heading to the Mideast Saturday to reassure two key allies -- Jordan, facing its own rumblings of civil unrest, and Israel, which sees its security at stake in a wider transformation of the Arab world.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was stopping first in Amman for meetings Sunday with senior Jordanian officials, including King Abdullah II. Jordan has seen five weeks of protests inspired by unrest in Tunisia and later Egypt, though the numbers of marchers has been decreasing.

He then was to Tel Aviv for meetings and ceremonies Sunday and Monday marking the retirement of his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Mullen had no plans to visit Egypt on this trip.

Israel is deeply worried about the prospect that Mubarak's ouster could lead to the emergence of a government less friendly to the Jewish state.

Any break seems unlikely in the near term. The military leadership supports the treaty. Anti-Israeli feeling is strong among Egyptians, and a more democratic government may take a tougher line toward Israel in the chronically broken-down peace process. But few call for outright abrogating a treaty that has kept peace after three wars in the past half-century.