In July, the sources said, Mubarak underwent a lengthy examination at a
French military hospital outside Paris. They said the examination took place
amid alarm by presidential aides and close relatives over the decline of
Mubarak in 2010.
"Everybody around him is trying to give the impression that he's a
spring chicken," another diplomatic source said. "The truth is he is heavily
drugged, particularly before he appears with visitors or in public."
On July 14, Mubarak, in a one-day delay of initial plans, was scheduled
to meet visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Egypt, Middle East Newsline reported. This was set to be the fifth meeting
between the two leaders over the last year.
The sources said the United States has been concerned over Mubarak's
decline and the prospect of political chaos in Egypt. They said the
administration of President Barack Obama has urged Mubarak to advance
elections, scheduled for late 2011, to prevent a power vacuum.
Mubarak, however, has refused U.S. overtures. The sources said the
president has failed to build a coalition within the military for his son,
Gamal, to serve as successor.
The sources said the State Department was supporting the unofficial
candidacy of former International Atomic Energy Agency director-general
Mohammed El Baradei as the next president of Egypt. They said El Baradei has
sought an alliance with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
"The situation is very dangerous," the diplomat said.