The Jerusalem Post and the Associated Press are reporting that “[a]s protests continued into the night, Egyptian authorities were holding talks to establish a ‘transitional government.’” Huge news if true. The same sources say that the headquarters of Mubarak’s ruling party in Cairo are on fire.
The administration continues to try to keep up with events; Secretary of State Clinton made public remarks about Egypt today:
As President Obama said yesterday, reform is absolutely critical to the well being of Egypt. Egypt has long been an important partner of the United States on a range of regional issues. As a partner, we strongly believe that the Egyptian Government needs to engage immediately with the Egyptian people in implementing needed economic, political, and social reforms. We continue to raise with the Egyptian Government, as we do with other governments in the region, the imperative for reform and greater openness and participation to provide a better future for all. We want to partner with the Egyptian people and their government to realize their aspirations to live in a democratic society that respects basic human rights.
This has, I think, the tone of trying to join the winning team after the fact. In reality, we are pretty much irrelevant to the events that are unfolding.
UPDATE: Pajamas Media reports:
Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ahmad Fathi Sorour appeared on state TV and said: “An important matter will be announced shortly.” No further details.
FURTHER UPDATE: On Egyptian television, Mubarak announced that he will stay on, but also dismissed his cabinet. I take it that means he still has the support of the Egyptian Army. Mubarak says he will appoint a new government over the coming days, so the report of a transition administration seems more or less correct.