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Egypt unrest: Day 13 as it happened

  • Egypt's opposition groups say government proposals on how to end the political crisis are not enough after the nominally banned Muslim Brotherhood and other groups take part in landmark talks with the government
  • The government proposes a review body to amend the constitution, as street protests against President Hosni Mubarak's rule enter their 13th day
  • Protesters are still occupying the central Tahrir Square in Cairo, and rallying in towns and cities across the country
  • Banks - closed for more than a week - reopened for a few hours on Sunday, as did the money markets
  • Live page reporters: James Morgan, Alexandra Fouché, Adrian Dalingwater and David Walker
  • All times in GMT.

2200 The BBC's live online coverage of events in Egypt is closing down now, but you can still follow events as they happen on the BBC News website.

2146 ashrafkhalil tweets: guessing that the only real result of govt arresting @aymanm will be gaining him another 5,000 twitter followers. Nice job guys! #egypt
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2142 Ahmed Naguib tweets: Looks like I'm heading to the office tomorrow. hmmm...lets see how will I make it home before the curfew.
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2136 Sandmonkey tweets: The people have a stage and a PA system set-up, there are stations for mobile charging, food vendors, people form all walks of life
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2135 Sandmonkey tweets: I've been to Tahrir Square today... It has become a tent city.
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2130AP news agency quotes Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris as saying Google manager Wael Ghoneim, arrested during the protests, will be freed on Monday afternoon.


2125 Sally Sami tweets: Exit point from #tahrir at omar makram, military officers refuse exit of cameras and laptops except with negotiations
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2121 ashrafkhalil tweets: Just spoke with @aymanm. He's fine and in good spirits. Sore shoulder from having hands tied behind back and blindfolded for hours #egypt
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2120 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets from Cairo: Just saw a motorcyle roar by with a pizza delivery..isn't there a curfew in Cairo? #egypt #Jan25
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2100 Abdel-Rahman Hussein tweets: Mubarak & cronies need to be put on trials for crimes committed since #jan25 let alone alone before
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2055 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets from Cairo: More troops on streets tonight... fewer from neighbourhood watch groups? #egypt #Jan25
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2053Professor Charles Tripp, a Middle East expert at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, tells the BBC that talking about constitutional change was the easy bit of these talks. "Talking about the departure of Mubarak goes to the heart of the whole affair," he said. "It's not just symbolic, that Mubarak symbolises everything, but what they are really doing is testing the inheritors of Mubarak... can they really divest themselves of the very person that they support?"

2046 One of Egypt's best-known women's rights activists, Nawal el-Saadawi, who has been campaigning for decades, tells the BBC World Service that women have been at the forefront of the protest. "Women in Egypt need to be liberated," she says.

2045The BBC's Jim Muir says it would be a mistake to think that with the government-opposition talks beginning, the steam is going out of the protests. Sunday has been one of the most important days so far, he says, with a huge turnout in Tahrir Square despite it being a cold and wet day. He says there was a palpable mood of optimism and a very relaxed atmosphere.

2038BBC Arab Affairs Analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says the protesters have gained in confidence and feel that the street protests have so far paid off. They also say that the opposition leaders who are talking to the government are only representing themselves, not the demonstrators.

2030Some more on the al-Jazeera journalist arrested earlier on Sunday in Tahrir Square. The station says Ayman Mohyeldin has now been released.

2024 Leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei describes the negotiations as "opaque". "Nobody knows who is talking to whom at this stage," he says. "The process is managed by the outgoing regime without the involvement of the new opposition... or the rest of the people. It is managed by Vice President Suleiman and it is all managed by the military."

2018Nariman, a protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square, tells the BBC: Most people would be happy to be represented by anyone, because there is consensus on all the demands.

2016Egyptian poet Abdul Rahman Yusuf tells BBC World Service: "Everything can happen if we turn up the pressure. The authorities did not agree to the condition that President Hosni Mubarak step down. I believe that the situation is heading towards more complication and escalation."

2000 Egyptian novelist Alaa al Aswany tells BBC World Service he is convinced that what is happening in Egypt is a revolution, and that it could spread. "Classically the Egyptian influence in the Arab world is tremendous, everything in Egypt quickly becomes the model. If this revolution succeeds in Egypt, there is no doubt that it will spread all over the Arab countries."

1951 Israeli President Shimon Peres says the crisis in Egypt makes striking a peace deal with the Palestinians all the more important, Haaretz reports. "The dramatic events of the recent period make it necessary for us to take the Israeli-Palestinian conflict off the regional agenda," he told the annual Herzliya conference.

1945US-Egyptian scholar and Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail has added his voice to those calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down. After returning to Egypt from the US, he told a news conference: "We are at a crossroads in Egypt and we need a clear vision."

1939President Hosni Mubarak will stay in office "until the end of September", his newly-appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has told CNN.

1935Leading US Democratic Senator John Kerry he's encouraged by the rapidly moving events in Egypt. He told NBC's Meet the Press programme: "The most important thing now is to guarantee the process is in place where there are free and fair elections, parties can organise, people can campaign."

1914 Youth groups supporting the protests have formed a coalition. A statement by the "unified leadership of the youth of the rage revolution" insists they will not end their occupation of Tahrir Square until President Mubarak steps down.

1905 Mona Eltahawy tweets: "We want the opposition meetings with Omar Suleiman to be televised. No back room deals."
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1853The US state department issues its latest travel advice for Egypt, which continues to recommend that US citizens should avoid travel to the country, and that "US citizens should consider leaving Egypt as soon as they can safely do so, due to ongoing political and social unrest".


1807 The Los Angeles Times carries this report of an interview with bestselling Egyptian novelist Alaa al-Aswany in which he expresses concern about "the apparent unwillingness of Mubarak to call it quits despite the mass popular protests against him, saying it is setting the scene for a dangerous scenario".

1802 Alaa Abd El Fattah tweets: "Protesters angry chanting against army, army shooting in the air."
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1755Numerous Twitter reports of gunfire on Tahrir Square, believed to be coming from direction of Egyptian Museum.

1745 Issandr El Amrani, writing on his blog, gives an update from Tahrir Square: "The mood in Tahrir is, as ever, uplifting and ebullient. It's a veritable tent city in the grassy parts, and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a moulid - the celebrations of saints that are part of the more Dionysian side of the way Islam is practiced in Egypt. Or, in Western terms, it's Glastonbury out there."
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1738Ahmad Amr El-Moslimany, from Cairo, writes: "Actually I agree with the beginning of the negotiations but I would insist on our demands. I don't trust the regime for the next six months - we know this regime well and all its faces so we know actually what will happen if we stop the demonstrations. So we will protest until our demands are met."
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1735 The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says those in Tahrir Square insist they have invested too much in the protest to leave now. They fear a backlash by security forces if they quit now, he says.


1728 Egyptian pro-democracy blogger @Sandmonkey tweets this warning about a US-based initiative: "@codepink is collecting money for food and supplies to be sent to Egypt. Please stop them. This will be used against us" #jan25
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1725 Lebanese Al-Manar Television says Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is to make a speech in Beirut in support of the Egyptian "revolution".


1710 Ahmed Naguib in Cairo tweets: "Looks like the tanks are in a way r trying to close in the square. I think it's a tactic to end the protests by limiting the area."
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1707Reports of huge demonstration in Mansoura, northern Egypt, with protesters numbering as many as 250,000 and minor clashes with security forces.

1700Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, joins the list of people warning against foreign meddling in Egypt, shortly after discussing the situation with US President Barack Obama.


1650Um Rami, whose son was killed on the day the protests began, 25 January, tells BBC Arabic TV she wants justice for her son but fears his "blood will go to waste". Asked if she supports the government-opposition talks, she says: "I am not a politician. I'm an ordinary Egyptian woman, I want my country to be fine, I want my kids to find jobs. I have three unemployed sons. Living conditions are harsh for everyone. We want to live in peace and security."

1648Ahmed, from Cairo, writes: "Whatever happens, the president must go. He is heading the country, so all that has happened - the destruction and corruption - he should be held responsible for. Today a government newspaper said that they have evidence that some of the formal ministries were corrupt. Shafik and Soliman were chosen because they are loyal to Mubarak and will not turn on him. It is a joke - he must leave."
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1640Human rights activist Nigad el-Borie tells BBC Arabic TV that the protesters have two main demands: the departure of President Mubarak, and that those responsible for the killings of the past days must face justice. People must be able to see them in chains, under investigation. This is very important to the people and it will soothe their anger," he says.

1640 BBC Arabic TV's Zein Tawfiq has interviewed Nigad el-Borie, a human rights activist opposed to the talks with the Mubarak government who's been protesting in Tahrir Square. He angrily dismissed the talks, saying: "Dialogue over what? This talk about constitutional amendments, they think they will now form a committee that will take a month to introduce amendments? Are you kidding me? What are you talking about?"

1637In the same CNN interview, Prime Minister Shafiq is asked about about the arrests of journalists and activists. "If there are problems it's not intended," he says.

1635In a CNN interview that is unlikely to go down well with the protesters in Tahrir Square, new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq insists that President Mubarak will not step down until September.

1625 Wael Abbas tweets: "my blog http://misrdigital.blogspirit.com/ disappeared after publishing leaked documents about mubarak's wealth this morning."
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1615 Egyptian satellite TV channel al-Misriyah reports that the Imam of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque, Ahmad al-Tayyib, has condemned all foreign attempts to interfere in Egypt's domestic affairs - an apparent reference to the West and Iran. He also warned against "stirring up feelings through religious fatwas", the report says.

1610The BBC's Lyse Doucet, also in Tahrir Square, says that despite the extraordinary events in Egypt, central Cairo appears to be returning to a kind of normality - after several evenings when the streets were quiet, tonight they are full of cars with lights blazing and horns honking.

1610The BBC's Jim Muir reports from a now dark Tahrir Square, the focal point of the anti-Mubarak protests, that every strand of Egyptian society is represented among the protesters - young and old, religious and secular, rural and urban. "That's why you do get the feeling that a real revolution is going on here," he says.

1605 Mark Jaffrey in Cairo tweets: "Current plan in our street is that we all chip in some money and hire private security so we can sleep at night."
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1600 Jon Jensen tweets: "In Tahrir now: a memorial for those who died in the uprising. #Egypt #jan25"
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1550Egyptian state news agency Mena adds that President Mubarak has promised to: "track down corrupt officials and those responsible for the chaos that followed the youth's uprising"; "restore the country's stability and security and give strict orders to the police to undertake their responsibility toward protecting citizens"; release "prisoners of conscience"; "allow media and communication outlets to work freely without imposing any extrajudicial restrictions on their activities"; and "lift the state of emergency pending improvement in the security situation".

1550 The state news agency Mena statement continues that all parties at Sunday's talks agreed to "the peaceful transition of power in line with the constitution".

1545 Now the Mubarak government is putting out its version of events via state news agency Mena. It says all parties at Sunday's talks agreed "to seriously, urgently and honourably handle the current crisis facing the nation and address the legitimate demands of the 25 January youth and the national political forces"

1530 Here's our latest Middle East press review which sees most commentators convinced that President Mubarak will be ousted - although more likely though talks not force.


1525 More from AFP on the Muslim Brotherhood's comments - the Islamist group says an offer by Hosni Mubarak's government to include opposition members on a panel to pilot democratic reform does not go far enough.


1520 AFP news agency quotes the Muslim Brotherhood as saying the reforms proposed by the government - apparently at this morning's talks - are "insufficient".


1515Amnesty International says it is concerned about the safety of a a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo by the security forces. Wael Ghuneim was detained on 28 January during protests in the capital, eyewitnesses said.


1512The BBC's Jim Muir in Cairo says demonstrators in Tahrir Square calling for President Mubarak to step down are adamant they will keep up their protest for months if they have to.

1410 Following on from this morning's talks with the government, Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Rashad Mohammed el-Bayoumy says the talks will only continue if there is progress towards meeting the movement's demands: "The immediate removal of this regime, beginning with Hosni Mubarak. The lifting of the emergency laws that we have been living under for more than 30 years... dissolving the parliament, which is in place only as a result of blatant election rigging, and finally, the release of all political prisoners."


1500 With talk of protests spreading from Egypt across the region, there's a report in the Christian Science Monitor on how protests failed to ignite this weekend in Syria

1455 Reuters, revealing an analysis of US diplomatic cables from whistleblowing website Wikileaks, reports that Egypt's new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, has long sought to demonise the Muslim Brotherhood in contacts with US officials. It says the former intelligence chief - who on Sunday met opposition groups including the officially banned Brotherhood - accused the Brotherhood of spawning armed extremists.

1445 Reuters reports that the Egyptian pound has fallen after trading in the currency resumed after a week-long suspension, but the drop was less sharp than many traders had feared amid apparent support from Egypt's central bank. The pound EGP closed at 5.93 against the dollar, its lowest finish since January 2005.

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1435 Freelance journalist Liam Stack tweets: "I was just very briefly detained by army at egyptian museum. they let me go but mokhabarat stole my camera. #Egypt #Jan25"

1431 Al-Jazeera is reporting that one of its journalists, Ayman Mohyeldin, has been detained by the authorities in Tahrir Square. His whereabouts are not known and the station is calling for his immediate release.

1425 Special Middle East envoy Tony Blair, the former British PM, has been talking to the BBC. He says the upheaval in Egypt has "convulsed" the politics of Israel and Palestine, with both sides worried about who takes over from President Mubarak.

1415 Away from the politics, Egypt's antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, says work has begun to restore priceless Egyptian antiquities damaged by looters amid the Cairo unrest. These include a statue of the boy king, Tutankhamun.

1402 The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Cairo, says members of the opposition have told him that they did not think the government's offer of a committee on constitutional changes was a serious attempt to end the stand-off. They are still demanding that President Mubarak should leave before they engage in serious talks.

1355 Raafat adds in Raafatology blog: "The Egyptian state media is trying very hard to scare the average Egyptian citizen who has no other source of information but the state media . They are describing the protesters as traitors and spies working for foreign agenda!"
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1353 Raafat writes in Raafatology blog: "Mubarak's regime has lost the fight in Tahrir Square. His thugs and criminals could not terrorise the protesters. For the last few days, the regime has been attacking media personnel and reporters all over Cairo. They stormed so many human rights offices and arrested all of its employees. As of now, the dictatorship has lost the streets' fight and they are playing another dirty game."
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1350 Another member of the opposition, Osama el Ghazaly Harb, who leads the Democratic Front Party and who did not take part in the dialogue, has said on BBC Arabic TV any talks which disregard the "main demand of those on the streets", which is that Hosni Mubarak step down, are null.

1347 More comments on the talks from opposition figures: Rifaat Saeed, who heads the Tagammu (Assembly) party, and took part in the talks, said on state TV it was agreed that the state of emergency law would be lifted as soon as the "security situation returns to normal".

1343 Egypt's new Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, is emerging as a key figure as the Egyptian government attempts to restore normality and manage political transition, says the BBC's Kevin Connolly in Cairo. For more on Mr Suleiman, read his profile here.

1337 Vice-President Omar Suleiman has turned down a call to take on President Mubarak's powers, according to a participant at the government-opposition talks, the AFP news agency reports.

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1333 Omar Robert Hamilton in a couple of tweets: "The government is losing its PR war. Tahrir crowd - young fashionable women, old men, young families from the countryside. There's a new energy in Tahrir today. A feeling that we have to make this semi-permanent. Feels like a festival."

1330More from Y Sanad in Cairo, who says: "People still protesting in Tahrir really need a representative. If they don't have a representative to speak on their behalf, they will miss the negotiations going on now for reform, and they might even lose what they have gained in the past days."
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1326 But Mr El-Erian also said the Muslim Brotherhood would "re-read the situation every day, and if there was no sincerity, no honesty, we would take another decision". He added the Muslim Brotherhood was "keen to keep the army away from political discussion".

1324Essam El-Erian, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has told BBC World Service his organisation is now part of a broad-based group of opposition parties in direct talks with the Egyptian vice-president. "We hope to take the country to stability, security and democracy, which can bring in the future prosperity, equality, justice and human dignity for all Egyptians."

1320 And you can see pictures of the protests on Tahrir Square in our latest picture gallery.

1314 The carnival atmosphere is back on the square with woman and children joining in, but there is also a renewed sense of determination, our correspondent adds.

1311 The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi in Tahrir Square reports on the Coptic service held in the square: "Several Muslim prayers have been held in the square, but with this service, there was a political message from the Coptic community. This is an issue that unites all Egyptians. One of the messages seen on the square said that both the Bible and the Koran were against despotism; this is a show of solidarity that crosses sectarian divides in the country."

1305 To recap on the main events in Egypt on Sunday so far, the Egyptian government has opened talks with the banned opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and both sides have agreed to set up a committee to study constitutional reform.

1258 More from the BBC's Paul Danahar on Tahrir Square: "Nissren, a protester who is sleeping here in the square, had just told me how Christians and Muslim are in the square together with none of the old tension. She says unlike before the 25th [of Jan], there is no sexual harassment of women. She believes things have now changed in Egyptian society. She says they will wait in the square 'one day, one week, one month, one year', whatever it takes to get rid of Mubarak. She says they will not get bored."

1244Y Sanad in Cairo, says: "I am at work now, I work for a big firm and I can safely assume that there are many people who can't make head or tail out of what's happening. They don't know who to believe. Everyone says something different. Some of them refuse to even listen or accept the other's opinion. This is a sign that they are not even ready for the democracy they are asking for."
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1240Our correspondent adds: "In Egypt your profession is written on your ID card. So to stop police or security officials getting into the square, the protestors are very careful about checking everyone's ID several times. In Talawt Street, where protesters have also set up rows of checkpoints to stop pro-Mubarak groups infiltrating the square, the rubble set aside for the next street fight has been laid in a line to spell "Leave!" in Arabic."

1232The BBC's Paul Danahar says the tanks in Tahrir square are now completely covered in anti-Mubarak graffiti. "The anti-Mubarak night shift are sleeping under duvets next to the tanks so they will be fresh to defend the square for another night. In the centre of the square the protestors have used hundreds of white plastic cups to spell out "Go to hell" in Arabic."

1219Regular followers of the BBC's Egypt live coverage will be familiar with Sandmonkey, real name Mahmoud Salem, a prominent Egyptian blogger who was detained on Thursday. He has just posted an update from Cairo: "Today started with two very important facts: 1) The mass resignation of important Mubarak regime figures from their posts in the ruling National Democratic Party, including his long-time crony Safwat ElSherif and his own son Gamal Mubarak and 2) The number of people who called me asking what the next move for the Tahrir protesters will be - they were disappointed by the lack of a clear way forward to the movement. They feared the protests would lose momentum and this historic moment would slowly dwindle and die."
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1200Egypt State TV has just shown pictures of talks between Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and various opposition figures. Among those attending were Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayed el Badawi, the leader of the al-Wafd party and a number of independent figures. In addition, six youths "representing the youth in Tahrir Square" were present, the TV station reports.

1155Meanwhile in Cairo's Tahrir Square "the party continues", says the BBC's Paul Danahar: "Hawkers line the road selling flags, tea, food and popcorn. One of yesterdays chants was: 'We will not get bored, we will stay here'. And people are true to their word because the crowds keep coming. Anti-Mubarak groups are banging the railings at the opera bridge entrance, to warn of pro-Mubarak groups coming. Hundreds of young men have run forward, though every warning so far has been a false alarm."

1143 Claire Craig-Nassar, in Dahab, says the tourist town is slowly returning to normality: "The petrol is now flowing more or less freely from the pumps of the gas station and with that, the town comes to life again. The deliveries are slowly coming back into the town and whilst the banks remain firmly shut despite announcements they would open for at least a few hours today, there are a couple of machines at the larger banks fattening up wallets with cash, and foreigners are finding that that cash is translating into many more Egyptian pounds than it did a few days ago."
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1138Robert Fisk, the veteran British commentator on the Middle East, says time is running out for Egypt's embattled president. "If Mubarak goes today or later this week, Egyptians will debate why it took so long to rid themselves of this tin-pot dictator," he writes in the Independent. "The problem was that under the autocrats - Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak and whomever Washington blesses next - the Egyptian people skipped two generations of maturity. For the first essential task of a dictator is to 'infantilise' his people, to transform them into political six-year-olds, obedient to a patriarchal headmaster. They will be given fake newspapers, fake elections, fake ministers and lots of false promises. Only when the power of youth and technology forced this docile Egyptian population to grow up and stage its inevitable revolt did it become evident to all of these previously 'infantilised' people that the government was itself composed of children, the eldest of them 83 years old."

1132The Egyptian stock exchange will remain closed for an eighth day on Tuesday, a stock exchange official told Reuters news agency.

1122 The BBC's Tim Willcox tweets: "Cairo returning to pre-demo life. Traffic clogged roads. Banks open - max withdrawal 50,000 Egyptian pounds - 6,200 Sterling #jan25 #egypt."
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1118More now on that wedding in Tahrir Square. It's the talk of Twitter today, and a photo is circulating of a happy couple in front of a tank. The BBC is trying verify whether this is the same couple who are rumoured to be tying the knot today.

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1113 Lara Setrakian, from ABC news, tweets: "As crowds fill Tahrir news comes that a WEDDING will be held in the center of the protests - a kaatib kitaab, for those familiar #Egypt."

1109Ms Clinton spoke after she took part in a meeting of the Middle East Quartet, in Munich, Germany, alongside UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In a statement afterwards, the grouping called on all parties "to undertake urgently efforts to expedite Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, which is imperative to avoiding outcomes detrimental to the region."

1103AFP news agency reports that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she supports the Muslim Brotherhood's involvement in political talks in Egypt, saying Washington would "wait and see" how talks develop.

1057Back in Tahrir square, there are now "more tents than ever" according to the BBC's Paul Danahar. "Several thousand people are inside chanting and singing. It looks increasingly like a British music festival though it has to be said the people here are doing a much better job of tidying up after themselves," says our correspondent.

1054But Mr ElBaradei is a somewhat reluctant figurehead, according to this fascinating BBC World Service documentary, which revealed that the former diplomat spends his quiet time relaxing with the comedy of Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld.

1045For those who don't know him already, "El Baradei" is Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate who has emerged as a leading figurehead of Egypt's opposition. Mr ElBaradei told Al-Jazeera on Saturday that he is prepared to lead Egyptians through the transition process. "My main concern is to see my country turn into a regime that is based on individual freedom and dignity, and a democratic regime that is based on social justice. If this is achieved and the people want me to implement the change process, I will not let down the Egyptian people," he said.

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1037 CNN's Hala Gorani tweets: "El Baradei/Moussa not part of today's meeting with VP Suleiman."

1035 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Large queues banks. Police won't let us film/record without official letters - a bit of normal life returns! #jan25 #egypt.."
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1032Sirwin Baldar in Sharm El Sheikh says: "People here are now worried about loss of business and loss of jobs. Very few tourists are coming: hotels, dive businesses, shops and restaurants are closing and staff leaving. Lots of expats and Egyptians are rethinking whether to continue to live here. Sharm El Sheikh feels like a ghost town, just like in 2005 after the Sharm El Sheikh attacks. Let's hope it recovers and everything goes back to the way it was. Egypt was and is one of the best holiday spots ever."
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1030Ahmed Osman in Cairo says: "Back in my office after 80% of this nation was kidnapped in the last 13 days. I hope my friends in Tahrir Square end their protest, as the gains they have made are phenomenal. People want their normal lives back and everyone expects major job losses, especially in private firms. Now is the time for dialogue, political reform, but no more street protests. I am not pro or anti, but I can confirm that I am one of the silent majority!
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1027But while the UN and the UK are offering to help broker a solution in Egypt, there are many in Cairo who would rather the foreign powers stayed out of it. "I do not agree at all of what the Americans or the Europeans said. They have no right to interfere in our business," says Zahi Hawass, Egypt's newly-appointed Minister of Antiquities. "We are Egyptians who are very proud of our country. We need to continue until September with President Mubarak until he can smooth. He can smooth the regime and make a new election and a new president will come by the desire of the Egyptians," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

1014UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says an orderly transition in Egypt is essential to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. "Egypt has been playing a very strategic role in the Middle East peace process," said Mr Ban, speaking after attending a Middle East Quartet meeting. "President Mubarak was one of the key players in trying to facilitate reconciliation. Overall in the Middle East peace process he has participated and contributed. This is what we are concerned about, and that is why we would like to see this transition take place in an orderly and peaceful manner without having any negative sudden impacts on the overall peace and stability in this region."

1007UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has been discussing Egypt this morning on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Asked if President Mubarak should go now, Mr Hague said: "I don't think that is for us, in another country, to say, because it is difficult to work out the position. We have the right to say a couple of things very clearly, but I don't think we have the right to choose Egypt's president. Where there is actual repression, and where there has been abuse of the internet, trying to take over mobile phone networks, trying to drop concrete blocks on to protesters, there, we are allowed to protest."

0951Eman Elsayed in Leeds, UK, says: "I am an Egyptian student at Leeds University. I completely disagree with the youth of Tahrir now. I am supporting the Mubarak speech as he promised us that he is going to make corrections, so what more do we need? What is happening now in Tahrir will destroy everything and will not to give a chance to any reforms."
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0950The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says Coptic Christians have held Sunday mass in Tahrir Square. "The largely Muslim crowd chanted 'Eid wahda', which means one hand to show religious solidarity," says our correspondent.

0945 Journalist Mohamed El Dahshan describes how he was detained in the New Yorker blog: "My taxi, trying to reach its destination before curfew, cut through a poor neighbourhood of Cairo. The local population had been "entrusted" with the task of providing security. For many, that was an incentive to practice violence - weapons are plentiful here - and also an army-sanctioned opportunity to brutalise and mug people unlucky enough to pass by."
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0936 TravellerW tweets: "Traffic is busy. Seems like a regular morning. But there's a magical touch to it: the tanks everywhere #Cairo #Jan25."

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0935 Shaima tweets: "On my way to #Tahrir. I'm pretty surprised at the high level police presence organising traffic on the streets! #jan25 #egypt #cairo"

0932As President Obama steps up US efforts to find a swift resolution to the crisis in Egypt, a commentary in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has warned that the US may be worse-off if President Mubarak steps down now. "Without Mubarak's Egypt, the West's ability to conduct an 'Arab policy' will be seriously diminished," writes Zvi Bar'el in Haaretz. "And while it's true that such policy was always a bit fictitious, political theory has shown that if you succeeded in convincing Egypt, most of the remaining Arab states would follow. If Mubarak leaves now, as a result of the revolution and not as part of an orderly transfer of power... the country will be a different Egypt, wild and self absorbed."

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0913 CNN's Nic Robertson in a couple of tweets: "Streets of Alexandria getting back to normal, banks open, long lines at ATMs, more police back on traffic duty and driving around, gas stations open, no lines #egypt #mubarak #jan25."

0911Pictures of a very long queue at a bank in Cairo are circulating on Twitter. If you are in Egypt, send us your photos, videos and comments using the links at the bottom of this page.

0908Israeli President Shimon Peres praised his Egyptian counterpart on Saturday, saying Hosni Mubarak's contribution to regional peace "will never be forgotten". "He (Mr Mubarak) saved lives of Egyptians, of Arabs, of Israelis, by not allowing to renew a war. No matter what is now the criticism against him, his contribution for peace, as far as I'm concerned, will never be forgotten," Mr Peres told a crowd of European parliamentarians in Jerusalem.

0900Meanwhile in Israel, there are fears that Mr Mubarak's departure would destabilise relations with Egypt. So says Aaron David Miller, who has advised several US secretaries of state on the Middle East peace process. "Israel prides itself on being the Middle East's only true democracy, so most Israelis may be loath to admit their fear of self-government spreading to Egypt, their most important Arab ally. But by their calculation, freedom in Egypt is bound to morph into venomous anti-Israeli attitudes and actions," he writes in the Washington Post.

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0850 Jonathan Rugman from Channel 4 News tweets: "He's tried riot police, army, no mobile/internet, thugs. Latest tactic: BORE them out of Tahrir Sq as rest of Cairo returns to work."

0848"I think President Mubarak needs to be treated as he deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend," said Mr Cheney, speaking at an event commemorating the centennial of President Ronald Reagan's birth.

0843There was confusion on Saturday about US policy towards Mr Mubarak after comments by Frank Wisner, President Obama's special envoy to Egypt. Further doubts were raised last night when former US Vice President Dick Cheney called Mr Mubarak "a good friend and ally to the United States".

0832The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says the army are stopping protestors from taking food into Tahrir Square. Angry demonstrators say the army "are trying to starve the people," our correspondent says.

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0828 Nadia El-Awady tweets: "Off to Tahrir to attend Christian mass. My father - a 73-yr-old ill, bearded conservative Muslim - is with me. #jan25 #egypt."

0826The BBC's Jim Muir in Cairo says many demonstrators spent the night sleeping under the tracks of tanks - to block the army from advancing. "The relationship with the army remains good however," says our correspondent. "People in the square are pretty confident the army won't move the tanks - and if they do, they are ready to throw themselves underneath."

0821With banks reopening today after a week-long closure, the Egyptian pound opened at 5.892 to the US dollar, before weakening to around 5.9 to the dollar, Egypt's central bank deputy governor Hisham Ramez said. The pound last traded at 5.855 to the dollar before the banks closed because of the political protests.

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0814 Eyousry tweets: "Muslim prayers and Sunday mass today at noon in #Tahrir sq., praying and honoring the memory of those who died for our freedom #jan25 #Egypt."

0811Mohamed Ghanem in Cairo, says: "I'm writing this message from the heart of Egypt, Tahrir square. Wounded with a bandage on my face. The nation rules now. No specific party has the upper hand here, we are all Egyptians. We know only one scenario to end this - Mubarak must leave, his party must fall and then we meet in courts to judge them. We are ready to start from scratch, the regime has to fall."
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0806In central Cairo, demonstrators in Tahrir Square are readying themselves for another day of peaceful resistance. With banks and businesses set to reopen today, there are fears that the army will begin to clamp down on the protest.

0758The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says the Muslim Brotherhood are taking "a huge gamble" by entering into talks. Their reputation has already "taken a huge blow" by their lack of visible presence during the unrest so far, our correspondent says.

0754Meanwhile Egypt's main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, is preparing to enter discussions with Vice President Omar Suleiman. The banned party had previously said it would only hold talks on the condition that President Mubarak step down.


0748 Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of events in Egypt. This is the 13th day of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak and protesters continue to occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square. But there are signs that the military may be preparing to re-open the area to the public. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.



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