Hosni Mubarak, struggling to cling on as Egypt's president in the face of unprecedented protests over poverty, corruption and oppression, said he would transfer powers to his vice president.
In an address that failed to meet demands by protesters for him to step down immediately, Mubarak, 82, appeared to step aside by handing over the reins of power to his deputy, Omar Suleiman, a former intelligence chief trusted by Washington.
Protesters in Tahrir Square, waved their shoes in dismay at the speech, shouting: "Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak" enraged by the fact that the president had not stepped down.
Mubarak repeated that he would not stand for the presidency in a September poll and said talks with the opposition, which would have been unthinkable before Jan. 25 when protests began, had led to preliminary consensus to resolve the crisis.
Egypt was heading to a peaceful transfer of power, said the president, stating that he believed in the honesty of the protesters' demands and intentions but underlining his rejection of foreign powers dictating events in his country.
Mubarak said he felt the pain of those who had lost family in the protests and that he was responding to the nation's demands with commitment and said those who had died, put at possibly 300 by the United Nations, had not died in vain.
Earlier in the day, the military high command took control of the nation in what some called a military coup after two weeks of unprecedented protests. (Continues here)