Reports: Egyptian President to Step Down Tonight

Multiple sources are claiming that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may step down as early as this evening.

Al Jazeera is saying Mubarak “may step down”:

In a statement televised on state television, the army said it had convened the meeting response to the current political turmoil, and that it would continue to convene such meetings.

“Based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation… and in support of the legitimate demands of the people [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people,” the statement, titled “Communique No. 1” said.

Thurday’s meeting was chaired by Mohamed Tantawi, the defence minister, rather than Mubarak, who, as president, would normally have headed the meeting.

The army’s statement was met with a roar of approval from protesters in Tahrir Square, our correspondent reported.

Earlier, Hassan al-Roweni, an Egyptian army commander, told protesters in the square on Thursday that “everything you want will be realised”.

MSNBC seems more sure:

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is set to step down after 17 days of pro-democracy protests, two sources told NBC News on Thursday.

Following an all-day meeting of the country’s supreme military council, the army said all the protesters’ demands would be met and a further statement was expected to be made later Thursday, clarifying the situation.

Mubarak was expected to formally announce his departure in an address to the nation tonight.

NBC News said a high-ranking source inside the president’s office said that Mubarak would step down and the newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, would take over. This was then confirmed by a second source.

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