Leaders from across the Middle East have been pledging their support for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding an end to his rule.
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah announced his “solid support” to Mubarak’s government and condemned the riots, looting and sabotage in Egypt. National carrier Kuwait Airways organised free flights back to Kuwait City from Cairo to nationals.
Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi and Palestine’s president Mahmoud Abbas both contacted Mubarak to affirm their support for him and Egypt’s security.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud phoned from Morocco where he is on a medical vacation and supported Mubarak, blaming “infiltrators” for destabilising Egypt. “Egypt is the country of Arabs and Islam. No Arab or Muslim can bear that some people, in the name of freedom of expression, have infiltrated Egypt to destabilise its security,” he said.
Iraq’s president Jalal Talabani said in a press statement that he supports stability in Egypt and carrying out reforms.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged Mubarak to “listen to the rightful demands of the people”.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa said, “The Arab citizen is angry and we feel broken as citizens. Reform has to happen now all over the Arab world.”
The protests in Cairo follow on from Tunisa’s Jasmine Revolution, which saw President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year rule come to an end.
Reports suggest that 100 people have been killed in Egypt, with 1,500 protesters wounded.