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ElBaradei praises Egyptian protests and urges Mubarak to step down

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ElBaradei praises Egyptian protests and urges Mubarak to step down

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The prominent Egyptian reform campaigner Mohamed El Baradei has reiterated his desire to see President Hosni Mubarak surrender power and retire.

Shortly before leaving for Cairo, he called on the government to take heed of the unprecedented protests.

“They have to listen to the people, listen to them quickly, take concrete action towards reform, to a new Egypt that is democratic, that is based on social justice,” he said.

“I will be there with the people, in particular with the young people who have led, organised and managed the peaceful demonstrations in the streets.

“I will be with them; they’re my people, and I have to be there, and I’d like to see a new Egypt. “

El Baradei has already been lauded by some as a potential challenger to Mubarak’s regime.

But the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has dismissed suggestions that he would run in this year’s presidential elections unless certain reforms were introduced.