In the UK and international press today, all papers report on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s address to the nation yesterday as more than a million demonstrators took to the streets across Egypt. Mubarak said that he planned to retire later this year and would not run in the elections in September. The Guardian carries the full text of Mubarak’s speech. The paper leads with an editorial looking at life in Egypt after Mubarak. The paper also notes that Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair praised President Mubarak for his role in Middle East negotiations calling him “immensely courageous and a force for good.” BBC Online carries a piece on Israel’s concern over developments in Egypt. Meanwhile, most papers also report that King Abdullah II of Jordan sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister yesterday as street protests inspired by efforts in Egypt and Tunisia took place in Jordan and put pressure on the government. The Independent and Financial Times note that Syrian citizens are mobilising online and planning a protest that calls for a “day of rage” on the streets of Damascus following events in Egypt and Tunisia.
In the Israeli press, all papers cover the developments in Egypt as President Hosni Mubarak addressed his nation yesterday and said that he planned to retire by the end of the year and would not run in the September election. Haaretz notes that US President Barak Obama responded to Mubarak’s address calling for Egypt to make a peaceful transition towards democracy. The paper also notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged Western leaders to stress to any new Egyptian government that they must honour the peace deal between Egypt and Israel. In related news, the papers report that King Abdullah II of Jordan sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister as protests inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia took place in Amman. Haaretz and Ynetnews report that German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed students at the Tel Aviv University yesterday. In her speech she said that Europe and the US supports Israel and that a historic opportunity exists to make progress with peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. All papers also note that Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak removed the nomination of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant as the next IDF chief of staff following a recommendation from a legal ruling.