|Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak fired his Cabinet early Saturday and promised reforms in his first response to protesters who have mounted the biggest challenge ever to his 30-year rule|
CAIRO (Reuters) - President Hosni Mubarak said in a speech to the nation on Saturday dialogue and not violence was the way to solve Egypt's problems that led to days of protests and announced he was sacking the government.
Mubarak was making his first public comments after protesters demanding an end to his 30 years in office clashed with police in several Egyptian cities.
"It is not by setting fire and by attacking private and public property that we achieve the aspirations of Egypt and its sons, but they will be achieved through dialogue, awareness and effort," he said.
He said he was committed to economic and political reform and was determined to secure the stability of Egypt. He said he understood the demonstrations were against corruption, poverty and unemployment.
"I am fully aware of these legitimate aspirations of the people and I know well the scale of their concerns and suffering.
"Egypt's youth are its most valuable asset and looting of public and private property, destroying what we have built is not the route to follow," he said.
"There will be new steps towards democracy and freedoms and new steps to face unemployment and increase the standard of living and services, and there will be new steps to help the poor and those with limited income," he said.
(Writing by Edmund Blair)
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