Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election when his current term in office expires in September.

“I do not intend to run for the coming presidential election,” Mr. Mubarak said.

In his remaining time in office he would “work to ensure the peaceful transfer of power” and pave the way for the next head of state.

“I never sought power and influence,” Mr. Mubarak, 82, who has ruled for nearly 30 years, said in a speech on State television.

“I take pride in my long years serving the people. ... I will be judged by history by my merits.” He used the occasion to slam the protest movements gripping Egyptian streets, saying they had started legally but had eventually been “manipulated by political forces” leading to threats to the “safety and security” of the country.

Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama had reportedly urged Mubarak to announce he would not look to stay on.

Hundreds of thousands of people remained on the streets of Egypt’s main cities, demanding democratic and economic reforms and the ouster of the President. It was unclear if Mubarak’s latest overture would quell the unrest that has brought the country to a halt.

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