Egypt TV shows footage of Mubarak talking, working



CAIRO - Egyptian television on Friday aired new footage of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been recovering in Germany after surgery, showing the 81-year-old making phone calls from hospital.
Footage showed Mubarak, wearing a grey cardigan, sitting at a table and going over paperwork with his chief of staff Zakaria Azmi at the Heidelberg University Hospital where he underwent surgery on March 6.



A picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Information shows Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak making a phone call at the University of Heidelberg hospital. (AFP/HO)
A picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Information shows Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak making a phone call at the University of Heidelberg hospital. (AFP/HO)
The president was also seen making telephone calls, laughing and joking, as he resumed some political activity. Before the operation, Mubarak temporarily handed powers to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.
"God willing at the end of the week," Mubarak said on the phone, in a possible reference to his return to Cairo.
"It's been a tough one," he said, laughing, the first time his voice was heard since surgery.
"These were pictures of President Mubarak looking well and following up on state matters," the presenter on Egyptian TV said.
The official MENA news agency said Mubarak had made several phone calls on Friday, including to Saudi King Abdullah and Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to thank them for wishing him well.
"President Mubarak is continuing his contacts with Arab and world leaders and kings who made contacts earlier to check on his health," a statement from the ministry of information said.
Earlier, Mubarak issued a presidential decree appointing Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb the new grand imam of Al-Azhar -- Sunni Islam's main seat of learning -- after the sudden death of Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi on March 10.
He issued another decree establishing a church for Coptic Christians in the Helwan province.
On Tuesday, Egyptian TV had aired the first footage of Mubarak -- with no sound -- and his doctor had described him as "upbeat and in very good spirits."
Until then, the president had made no appearances in public or on television and no pictures of him had been published, causing a stock market dip on Monday over speculation about his health.
Professor Markus Buchler, the doctor who performed Mubarak's surgery, said on Tuesday that no further daily follow-up laboratory investigations were required.
Mubarak had his gall bladder and a growth on the small intestine removed on March 6.
Analysts say the president's health, usually a closely guarded secret that has led to journalists being punished for questioning it, has intensified talk over his eventual succession.
Mubarak, president since 1981, has no vice president. The veteran leader's fifth six-year term ends in 2011, but he has not indicated whether he will run again next year.
His son Gamal has not commented on widespread speculation that he would succeed his father.
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Saturday, March 20th 2010
AFP
           


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