Egyptian state television says President Hosni Mubarak will give a speech to the nation late Thursday. Earlier in the day, Egyptian military officials and members of the ruling party said Mr. Mubarak will “meet protesters’ demands.”
Egyptians have been demonstrating for 17 days, calling for the ouster of President Mubarak, who has been in power for nearly 30 years. They have been demanding he leave immediately.
The military’s supreme council met Thursday without the commander in chief, Mr. Mubarak.
The military announced on state television it supports the “legitimate demands of the people.” A spokesman said the council was exploring what measures could be made to “safeguard” the nation and its people.
Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a focal point of the protests, erupted into cheers as news spread at around dusk Thursday.
Doctors in white lab coats and lawyers in black robes had earlier flooded into Tahrir Square, linking striking workers with anti-government protesters.
In addition to the prolonged protests by thousands in the capital, the opposition has turned to labor actions across Egypt affecting tourism, textiles, railways and the government.