Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak intervened in the bitter soccer row with Algeria on Saturday, vowing in a televised speech that attacks on Egyptians abroad will not be tolerated. According to the AP, Mubarak did not mention Algeria, but it was clear he was referring to the north African country.
"I want to say in clear words that the dignity of Egyptians is part of the dignity of Egypt," Mubarak told a joint session of parliament's two houses. "Egypt does not tolerate those who hurt the dignity of its sons," he said.
Last week, Algerian fans attacked the offices of Egyptian companies in Algeria, prompting hundreds of Egyptians fearing for their safety to return home. Street protesters and some media commentators have demanded that Egypt's government expel the Algerian ambassador. Others have called for an all-out economic and cultural boycott of Algeria.
Lawmakers hailed Mubarak's remarks Saturday. "We don't want to be drawn into impulsive reactions. I am agitated too, but I restrain myself," the Egyptian leader said.