Suleiman: 'Egypt Will Not Be Anything Like Tunisia'

Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman sits with ABC News' Christiane Amanpour.

ByABC News
February 3, 2011, 6:59 PM

CAIRO, Feb. 3, 2011— -- In his first interview since becoming Egypt's newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman agreed to sit down with me at the Presidential Palace today. I did so just after speaking with President Mubarak.

Until today, Sulieman had not agreed to do any interviews. Today, he went on Egyptian state television and then sat down with for an exclusive interview with me - the first interview he has agreed to do with foreign media.

I asked Suleiman for his take on the conversation he had with the Obama administration about Mubarak's resignation.

"My telephone call with Clinton," he said. "We discussed this issue but she didn't ask that President Mubarak step down now. But I told her it was a process, and at the end of it, President Mubarak will leave."

Suleiman added that he would also not seek re-election as well. When I asked him if he felt that the United States has betrayed his president, Suleiman didn't give much of an impression either way.

"What I hear from President Obama is that he is supporting the people," he said. "President Obama told our president that he is a brave man."

Last week, in Tunisia, crowds staging similar protests ultimately caused the longtime leader of that country to flee with his family. Vice President Suleiman vowed that this is not what will happen here. Sulieman said Mubarak has no intention of leaving his country.

"No, Egypt will not be anything like Tunisia," he said. "This is different. You know that our president is a fighter. He lived on this soil and he will die on this soil."

I asked Suleiman if Egypt, a country that has had very strong relations with Israel, would remain a strong ally of Israel, and uphold their peace agreement.

"Yes we will have a peace agreement," he said. "We will keep it firmly and not violate it at all."