Ousted President Hosni Mubarak criticized Syrian President Bashar Assad
over his regime's brutal crackdown on protesters over the past five months, Egyptian daily al Gomhuriya reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Mubarak – who is held in Cairo's police academy, where he is being tried for ordering the murder of hundreds of protesters during the popular uprising at the beginning of the year – told a confidant that he denounces Assad's "crimes against his own countrymen," adding that the Syrian leader should grant the people's will and resign.
One of Mubarak's close confidants told the newspaper that the former president is suffering from depression, saying he has stayed in Egypt in order to prove his innocence. "By god, I am innocent and didn’t give an order to kill anyone," Mubarak was quoted as saying.
During the first two hearings in his trial, Mubarak was wheeled into the courtroom on a gurney, and appeared extremely frail and distraught.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Egypt and the United States scrapped this year's planned military drills, known as Bright Star, the largest exercises of their kind in the region, according to Egyptian and US military sources.
"The Bright Star military practice was called off exceptionally this year given the political situation in Egypt," an Egyptian army official said.
Meanwhile, Turkey's prime minister compared Syria's president to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday.
"We made our calls (to Gaddafi) but unfortunately we got no result," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday. "The same thing is happening with Syria at the moment."
Erdogan said he personally spoke to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but "despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians."
AP and Reuters contributed to this report