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Mubarak asks new PM to boost reform, economy, anti-corruption

01-31-2011 13:21 BJT

CAIRO, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak demanded on Sunday that the new prime minister push forward reform and anti-corruption efforts and restore confidence in the country's economy.

In remarks carried by official media on an ongoing paralyzing nationwide unrest, Mubarak said that Ahmed Shafiq's priority is to tame unemployment and create jobs.

"I require you to bring back confidence in our economy" and shore up the country's subsidy provisions and the campaign against corruption, Mubarak was quoted as saying.

He also stressed the importance of taking new, effective and continuous moves to further political reform through "extensive dialogue" with all parties, including the opposition.

Meanwhile, the official MENA news agency reported on Sunday night that Mubarak had also talked about political reform in a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Egyptian leader "expressed his determination to continue with more steps on political reform that responds to the aspirations of the Egyptian people for a free, democratic society," the report said.

Massive protests and violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces have rocked the African Arab nation for a week, with official figures showing that around 100 people had been killed and thousands injured.

The protestors' demands included an end to Mubarak's 30-year-old rule, a change to the country's political system and effective efforts to fight corruption and improve the people's well-being.

In response, Mubarak reshuffled the government late last week, sacking the previous cabinet headed by Ahmed Nazif and named Shafiq as the new prime minister.

Adding to the troubles were widespread looting, rampant crimes and several prison breaks, which have made the public wary of the safety of their lives and properties.

In Sunday's remarks, Mubarak noted that his people had expressed their legitimate demands in the past few days, but also warned that some ill-intended elements, apparently referring to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization, were deliberately causing chaos.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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