Egyptian PM confirms govt resignation (UPDATE)

Photo: Egyptian PM confirms govt resignation (UPDATE) / Arab World

Details added (first version was published at 14:29)

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour has asked prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi to run the government's affairs until a new prime minister is selected after the cabinet announced its resignation on Monday, the state-run Al Ahram news website reported.

"Today the cabinet took a decision to offer its resignation to the president of the republic," Beblawi said in a televised statement, without giving a clear reason for the decision, Al Arabiya reported.

"For the past six to seven months, the government assumed its responsibilities and duties... the government did not spare any efforts to get Egypt out of a bad phase," Beblawi said in reference to security and economic issues.

"This is not the time for personal interests. The nation is above everybody."

Beblawi was appointed after the army toppled President Mohammad Mursi last July following mass protests against his rule.

Citing an unnamed source, state-run Al Ahram newspaper said on its website on Monday the decision was made after a 15-minute meeting of the cabinet.

Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to run for president, was part of the cabinet, serving as defense minister.

Ibrahim Mahleb, minister of housing in Beblawi's government, is expected to be commissioned to form the new cabinet, according to sources cited by Ahram Online.

Government spokesman Hany Saleh told Agence France-Presse that Monday's decision was taken because there was a "feeling that new blood is needed".

"Egypt is moving forward. This decision will not affect foreign relations or internal stability," he said, adding it was still unclear which ministers from the outgoing cabinet would keep their posts.

In an interview with Al Arabiya News in January, Beblawi was asked whether Egypt was returning to military rule following the army-backed ouster of Mursi last year.

"This is something people have in their minds, in their imagination. I've been in the cabinet for about six months, I haven't felt any time that I am run by the military people," he said.

"I told you my conviction and I promised prior to my assuming a public office, that I think Egypt after January 2011 is immune to military dictatorship and military rule. On the contrary, people are much more in command than ever before."

Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency