Egypt Appoints New Defense Minister and Chief-of-Staff

BBC News MENA31.03.2014 Egypt
Egypt Appoints New Defense Minister and Chief-of-Staff

Egypt Appoints New Defense Minister and Chief-of-Staff

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Egypt's new Armed Forces Chief and Defense Minister has been sworn in, a day after Abdul Fattah al-Sisi resigned so he could stand for the presidency.

Interim President Adly Mansour confirmed General Sedki Sobhi's (photo) appointment at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Cairo Thursday.

General Mahmoud Hijazi, whose daughter is married to one of Mr. Sisi's sons, was named the Army's New Chief-of-Staff.

Mr. Sisi, who held the rank of Field Marshal, reportedly turned up at the Cabinet meeting in civilian clothes.

As Commander-in-Chief last July, he led the overthrow of President Mohammed Mursi following mass opposition protests.

The military-backed interim authorities subsequently launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that has left more than 1,000 people dead and seen some 16,000 others detained.

They have also struggled to combat jihadist militants based in the Sinai peninsula who have attacked government and security forces personnel, killing more than 200.

Mr. Sisi attended Thursday's Cabinet meeting to submit his resignation as Defense Minister and see his former Chief-of-Staff sworn in as his successor, the Mena news agency reported.

Announcing his Presidential bid on Wednesday, the 59 year old said he was answering “the demand of a wide range of Egyptians who have called on me to run for this honorable office”.



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