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Egypt VP: Protests cannot continue for long

A crowd of people is seen protesting on the streets of Egypt.

February 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Vice President Omar Suleiman warns "we can't put up with" continued protests in Tahrir for a long time and says the crisis must be ended as soon as possible, a sign of increasing impatience in the regime after 12 days of upheaval.

Suleiman says there will be "no ending of the regime" and no immediate departure for President Hosni Mubarak, according to the state news agency MENA, reporting on a meeting Tuesday between the vice president and newspaper chiefs.

He says the regime wants dialogue to resolve protesters' demands for democratic reform. In a veiled warning, he says, "We don't want to deal with Egyptian society with police tools."

Anti-government protesters in Egypt called for a million people to crowd the streets of Cairo on Tuesday.

Protesters have been gathering on the streets for two weeks. They've vowed not to go home until President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.

Around 90,000 people are rallying around the Google executive who was released Monday after being detained for nearly two weeks. They want him to be their leader.

Reform efforts have already begun under Egypt's newly-appointed vice president.

Mubarak has set up a committee to discuss and recommend constitutional changes that will relax eligibility rules for who can run for president and limit the number of presidential terms.

The moves are the first concrete steps taken by the longtime authoritarian ruler to implement reforms promised during the mass protests.

Those efforts may not result in Mubarak's resignation before September, which is when elections are expected to be held.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.