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Cairo — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he wishes he could step down – but won’t.

In an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, the embattled despot said he was fed up with being in charge and would like to leave office, but fears his country would sink into chaos without him.

It was not clear if Mubarak was trying to defend his refusal to quit or starting to lay the groundwork for an early exit.

The comments came as pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo geared up for another million-man protest after prayers Friday, calling it “Departure Day” for Mubarak.

“The people want you out! The people want you out!” the crowd began cheering after Mubarak’s comments were reported.