Two days after reports that Hosni Mubarak was “ailing and bedridden” and may have slipped into a coma, a Saudi official has said that the former Egyptian president has given up and wants to die in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
"He is not dead but is not doing well at all and refuses to leave. Basically, he has given up and wants to die in Sharm," Reuters reported the official, who asked not to be named, as saying.
He added that Saudi Arabia had offered to host Mubarak, but that he was determined to see out his days in Egypt. Official confirmation could not immediately be obtained from the Saudi government.
The Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported this week that soon after resigning the presidency and moving to a resort in Sharm el-Sheikh, the 82-year-old Mubarak — who resigned Friday after ruling Egypt for 30 years — was gravely ill and had slipped into a coma.
"Mubarak coma" was a top-trending term on Google on Tuesday.
Egypt's ambassador to the U.S., Sameh Shoukry, told The Today Show on Tuesday morning that Mubarak "is possibly in somewhat of bad health."
But a pro-government newspaper denied the report but said the leader was suffering psychologically and was declining treatment. And despite reports to the contrary, Arab diplomats, including one Egyptian, said Tuesday that to their knowledge, Mubarak had not died.
Meanwhile, the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday that Mubarak, 82, had refused advice to travel to Germany for treatment. He underwent gallbladder surgery there last year, and since then rumors about his health have frequently surfaced.
Asked about reports that Mubarak may have suffered a stroke, Shoukry said that "from an official perspective, I have no information related to the ex-president's health."
But, he added that he "might have received some communication at a personal level indicating that he is possibly in somewhat of bad health."
Here is Shoukry on The Today Show:
Britain’s Daily Telegraph also quoted Shoukry as saying that he had been informed that the former president’s health had taken a turn for a worse.
Mubarak resigned following two weeks of massive protests against his 30-year rule. The Higher Military Council has taken over the running of the country.
Mubarak had said in his final speeches to the nation, while still hanging on to office, that he would die in Egypt.
Speculation has swirled about Mubarak's health, including some talk that he may have already died.
Mubarak is staying at a villa in the grounds of the Maritim Jollie Ville Hotel, owned by one of the Egypt’s leading businessman, Hussein Sale, who is a close member of the ex-president’s inner circle.