Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with an Israeli lawmaker a day before he quit as Egypt's president.
The legislator, former cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, said on Israel TV on Friday he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realised "it was the end of the Mubarak era".
"He had very tough things to say about the United States," said Ben-Eliezer, a member of the centre-left Labour Party who has held talks with Mubarak on numerous occasions while serving in various Israeli coalition governments.
"He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: 'We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that's the fate of the Middle East,'" Ben-Eliezer said.
"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.
"(Mubarak) was looking for an honourable way out," Ben-Eliezer said.
"He repeated the sentence, 'I have been serving my country, Egypt, for 61 years. Do they want me to run away? I won't run away. Do they want to throw me out? I won't leave. If need be, I will be killed here.'"
ReutersLast Mod: 12 Şubat 2011, 09:11