Egypt’s newly appointed vice president said President Hosni Mubarak has asked him to immediately begin dialogue with “political forces” for constitutional and legislative reforms.

Vice President Omar Suleiman, a long-time confidant of Mr. Mubarak, did not say what the changes would entail or which forces the government would speak with.

Opposition forces have long demanded a lifting of strict restrictions on who is eligible to run for president. A presidential election is scheduled for September.

The statement appeared to be a new attempt by the regime to defuse protests by tens of thousands, but it was unlikely to satisfy protesters, who have made clear they will not be satisfied by anything less than Mubarak’s ouster and the end of his regime.

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