Ex-Egypt president Mubarak ‘not in Sharjah’, says UAE

Plane carrying Hosni Mubarak reported to have landed in the UAE on Sunday, after protests toppled his 30-year rule
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak fled to Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh just hours before stepping down, but his next move is unknown
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Mon 14 Feb 2011 12:20 PM

Media
speculation that a plane carrying ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak landed
in Sharjah on Sunday has been rebuffed by the emirate’s Department of Civil
Aviation.

The UAE’s
state-run news agency confirmed that the former president, whose 30-year-rule
of Egypt ended on Friday night, was not in Sharjah.

There is
no shortage of speculation as to Mubarak’s whereabouts. The 82-year-old fled
with his family to Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of
Sharm El Sheikh just hours before stepping down, but his next move is unknown.

In his
last address to the nation last Thursday, Mubarak pledged to “die on the soil
of Egypt.”

Theodore
Karasik, from the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai,
told Arabian Business there was
still a good chance Mubarak could flee to the UAE.

“There
is a 50 percent chance he would come here,” he said. “In the past, [the UAE]
has been where exiles or leaders who are exiled from their countries come
because it is known as a place where politics do not occur. It maintains
security and stability.

“It is
just not really clear what is going on,” he added.

On
Sunday the Egyptian opposition newspaper Al Wafd Media said that the former
President’s plane had landed at Sharjah International Airport.

The
Washington Post also reported that Mubarak had flown to Sharjah before boarding
a flight to Abu Dhabi where he spent the night before leaving for Germany. It
was the same route described by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

But
Germany has denied the reports. “He’s not in Germany, and he's not on his way,”
Steffen Seibert, the chief spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said
on Sunday night.

“This is
a new round of rumors. There is absolutely no information that we have about
this, and it would require him a visa to come here. So presumably we would know.”

Egypt’s
Prime Minister Mohamed Shafik has said he is still in Egypt with his family.

Neighbouring
Gulf state Saudi Arabia last month opened its doors to toppled Tunisian ruler
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisia’s widespread protests are widely seen as the
trigger for the current political unrest in the Middle East.

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