The Egyptian Presidency mourned the death of former Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, who passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 85, local media reported.
“Egypt lost Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, the former General Commander of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Military Production, who was one of its most loyal sons and a military symbol who had served his country for more than 50 years,” read a presidential statement.
“Tantawy was one of the heroes of the glorious October War, who contributed to the making of the greatest heroics ... and a statesman who ran the country in a most difficult time, confronting with wisdom the dangers that surrounded Egypt,” the statement added.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, on behalf of the Egyptian people and government, condoles with the family of late field marshal Tantawy, the statement said.
Later in the day, President El-Sisi announced a state of official mourning for the death of Tantawy.
“Today, I lost a father, a teacher, and a person who was protective of his homeland. I learned a lot from him and his dedication to serving the country,” El-Sisi also said in a tweet on his official account.
“It is Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy who confronted the most serious difficulties that Egypt faced in its contemporary history,” the President wrote.
Tantawy graduated from the Military Academy in 1956 and later on from the Command and Staff College.
He participated in several wars, including the 1967 War, the War of Attrition, and the 6 October 1973 War, serving as the commander of a combat unit in the infantry.
In 1988, he was appointed as the Head of the Presidential Guard.
In 1991, he was appointed as the Defense Minister and the General Commander of the Armed Forces.
He was awarded the rank of Field Marshal in 1993.
He was Acting President of Egypt in his capacity as the Chair of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces after the stepping down of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Cairo, Sept. 21 (BNA): The Egyptian Presidency mourned the death of former Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy who passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 85.