With protesters set for a tenth day of demonstrations in Cairo on Friday, Egyptian leaders were seeking for opportunities - without success - for talks with opposition members.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators amassed once again in Tahrir Square for protests which many of them are calling the Day of Departure for the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Security was tighter as members of the military controlled the flow of incoming protesters, with reports of barbed-wire barricades and makeshift stations erected by the demonstrators themselves.
Friday was relatively calm compared with the past several days, according to reports. The last few days had been marked by violence, with rock-throwing and molotov cocktail clashes between pro and anti-government protesters.
On Thursday, President Hosni Mubarak said he wanted to step down, but feared if he did so, Egypt would be thrown into chaos. He said on Tuesday he would stay on until the next elections in September.
A top opposition representative, former head UN nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei, continued to say he would not negotiate with the government until Mubarak stepped down.
We demand that this regime is overthrown, and we demand the formation of a national unity government for all the factions, the Muslim Brotherhood, a group currently outlawed from serving as a political party, said in a statement broadcast by Al Jazeera.
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman said he was open to talks with members of the opposition, including a group currently banned from becoming a political party, the Muslim Brotherhood.
A top member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed al-Beltagi, told Al Jazeera on Friday that his group had no ambitions to run for the presidency.
Also on Friday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said the protests were an Islamic liberation movement on Iranian television according to Reuters.
Meanwhile U.S. officials on Thursday were talking with Egyptian counter parts about various ways to move towards a transition of power, including Mubarak's immediate departure, Al Arabiya reported.