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ElBaradei wants transition talks with army

Mohamed ElBaradei (AP)


Egyptian dissident Mohamed ElBaradei wants to discuss a peaceful political transition with army top brass, "preferably soon," he says in an interview to be published on Monday.

"I would like to discuss with the army chiefs, preferably soon, to study how we can achieve a transition without bloodshed," he told the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace Prize laureate took part in demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and has gained a large following of pro-democracy campaigners with his public calls for political reform.

He reiterated his call for veteran leader Mubarak to step down as soon as possible and relinquish his 30-year-old grip on power.

"There will doubtless be an Arab country willing to welcome him. I have heard Bahrain mentioned," ElBaradei said.

He indicated to Al-Jazeera television on Friday that he would be prepared to run for the presidency as an independent if the people asked and as long as the polls were transparent and democratic.