Saudi prince says tough to predict Mubarak future

Reuters, Wednesday 26 Jan 2011

Leaders need to take on board and meet demands of its people

The future of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hinges on the ability of the country leaders to understand the reasons behind unprecedented protests, a Saudi royal family member said on Wednesday.

"In Egypt, I really can't say where this is going to go," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Britain and the United States, told Reuters Insider television.

"Whether they can catch up as leaders to what the population is aiming (for) is still to be seen," he said.

Calm returned to the streets of Cairo on Wednesday after a night and a day of unprecedented demonstrations calling for Mubarak to end his rule.

Police fired teargas and water cannon in the early hours of Wednesday to disperse protesters who had occupied the capital's central Tahrir square into the night.

Two protesters and one policeman were killed in clashes and protests that erupted on Tuesday in several Egyptian cities, where demonstrators angry at poverty and repression have been inspired by this month's downfall of the leader of Tunisia.

"I think developments in Tunis took everybody by surprise," said al-Faisal.

"Each country has its own criteria and its own dynamics. I think we will have to wait a day or two until things clear up to wait and see how these demonstrations (in Egypt) are going to go," he added

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