"Whatever happens, Egypt will not be shaken and we will not give up fighting terrorism," he said. "As you see, I look sound and safe and fine. I am a believer, and I have always thought that God is protecting me."
He also used the news conference to return to a favorite theme--his assertion that radical Muslims fighting the government receive valuable support from outside Egypt. He noted that on Saturday, authorities seized a cache of weapons that had been smuggled into southern Egypt from Sudan, bound for the rebel groups.
More than 750 people have died in the three-year conflict, including Rifaat Mahgoub, Speaker of the Parliament, who was assassinated in 1990. Attempts also have been made on the lives of Prime Minister Atef Sedki and two Cabinet members. Islamists have been implicated in two known assassination plots against Mubarak.
A retired air force general, Mubarak was vice president when Sadat was murdered in 1981, and was appointed president by Parliament. He was last elected in 1993 and is serving a six-year term.
Mubarak has returned Egypt to a place of leadership in the Arab world after the estrangement caused by Sadat's 1979 peace treaty with Israel. At the same time, Egypt has continued to play a role in the Middle East peace process and is strongly allied with the United States.
"The United States stands by Egypt--our partner for prosperity in the Middle East and around the world--at this moment," President Clinton said in a written statement from San Francisco, where he was attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the United Nations.
"The enemies of peace will not be allowed to thwart the peaceful hopes of the peoples of the region, and the efforts of President Mubarak and the peacemakers to make those hopes a reality," he added.
In Israel, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres expressed relief that Mubarak escaped unharmed.
"Thank heavens nothing happened to President Mubarak and he will be able to continue his important leadership," Peres said. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin condemned "this base attack by Islamic extremists."
Other good wishes poured in from the Middle East and Europe.
Comments on the street in Cairo focused on anger against suspected terrorist involvement in the assassination attempt.
"I think we should stand up to these terrorist groups with all our strength," said shop owner Ahmed Meniawy in a typical comment.
For the most part, this sprawling capital seemed to take the events in stride.
In the hours after the attack, Egyptian television played and replayed Mubarak's news conference, along with file film of his public appearances. Aside from the concentration of security forces at the airport, there was little evidence of extra police on the streets, even in the area of the presidential palace.
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The attack occurred as the Egyptian president's car was passing the Palestinian Embassy in Ethiopia. (see newspaper for graphic)