COMPROMISE

Egypt Offers Concessions to Opposition

During Sunday's meetings with opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman offered new government concessions including freedom of the press, release of detainees imprisoned since anti-government protests began roughly two weeks ago, and eventual abolishment of the country's undemocratic emergency laws. The laws gave police extremist powers to suppress civil and human rights, and were imposed in 1981 when President Hosni Mubarak took office. Suleiman offered to set up a committee of judiciary and political figures to review proposed reforms to the country's constitution, which have requested that more candidates be able to run for president. He also pledged not to interfere with text messaging and internet access, and not to harass anti-government protesters. The government agreed to set up a committee of public and independent specialists and representatives of youth movements to monitor all new agreements. Mubarak remains obstinate in the face of demands that he step down, claiming the sudden change of power would only heighten Egypt's chaos. In spite of U.S. support that he take over Mubarak's seat, Suleiman told ABC News that it would be unconstitutional for him to run for Egypt's presidency.