Egyptian PM appoints new foreign minister
Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Sunday announced the inclusion of 10 new ministers as he began a cabinet reshuffle amid protests over the sluggish pace of political reform, dpa reported.
With thousands of protesters taking to the streets, Sharaf has been under pressure to remove ministers who served under ousted president Hosny Mubarak, had links with the former ruling National Democratic Party or were not quick enough to implement reforms in their respective ministries.
Mohamed Kamel Amr was appointed foreign minister, the cabinet announced.
Amr, who was Egypt's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and worked at the World Bank, will take over from Mohamed al-Orabi who resigned Saturday, less than a month after he was appointed.
The ministers of military production, telecommunication, health, education and civil aviation were also changed, the cabinet said.
Abdel Fatah al-Said al-Bana replaced Zahi Hawass as the minister of state for antiquities; economist Hazem Beblawi was chosen as the new minister of finance.
Beblawi, a former undersecretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, was also appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs.
Ali al-Silmi was chosen as deputy prime minister for political development and democratic transition.
Most of the ministers replaced in Sharaf's reshuffle had been appointed by Mubarak early February - that cabinet reshuffle was aimed at bringing an end to the growing nationwide demonstrations demanding the overthrow of the Mubarak regime.
After Mubarak was forced to step down on February 11, few of those he appointed remained in the new cabinet.