Vice President Omar Suleiman announced the resignation on state television and said he was transferring authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to “run the affairs of the country.”
Tens of thousands of emotional anti-government protesters erupted in deafening cheers on the streets of Cairo after the announcement.
“Egypt is free!” they chanted.
It was a moment anti-government protesters had been waiting for after 18 days of rentless demonstrations that called for Mubarak’s departure.
U.S. President Barack Obama said he was notified of Mubarak’s decision Friday morning and was closley watching the extraordinary developments unfold in Egypt, a key U.S. ally. He will make a statement Friday afternoon, the White House said.
A source with close connections to Persian Gulf government leaders told CNN that Mubarak had gone to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.