News / Middle East

El-Sissi to Remain as Egypt's Defense Minister, Official Source Says

FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi giving a live broadcast.
FILE - An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi giving a live broadcast.
Reuters
Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi will keep his post as defense minister in a new government, an official source said on Wednesday, quashing speculation he was about to  announce a widely expected bid for the presidency.
 
Sissi is tipped to win the upcoming presidential election but has yet to announce his candidacy. He must vacate the post of defense minister in order to run. The source said he would likely keep that job until an election law is finalized.
 
“He is expected to continue in his post until all the issues regarding the election laws are resolved,” the source said.
 
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's government resigned on Monday in a surprise move that has not been clearly explained. Many of Beblawi's ministers were reappointed on Wednesday by Prime Minister-designate Ibrahim Mahlab, the outgoing housing minister who was asked on Tuesday to form the new cabinet.
 
They included Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, a leading figure in state efforts to fight militant attacks that have soared since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July following mass protests against his rule.
 
Ibrahim survived an assassination attempt last September.
 
Sissi, 59, is widely seen as the most powerful figure in the army-backed administration installed after Morsi's removal.
 
He enjoys strong support among Egyptians who were glad to see the overthrow of Morsi, who was freely elected president in 2012. But to Morsi's Islamist supporters, he is the mastermind of a coup that led to a bloody state crackdown.
 
Mahlab said on Tuesday that fighting militant attacks would be a priority for his government. Shootings and bombings, mostly targeting the security forces, have become commonplace since Morsi's removal.
 
Pointing to the wider risks, an Egyptian court sentenced 26 people to death on Wednesday for plotting attacks on ships passing through the Suez Canal - a vital artery of world shipping. The defendants were tried in absentia.
 
Oil ministers also planning to stay on
 
Mahlab, a former official in deposed President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, also reappointed Oil Minister Sherif Ismail and Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi.
 
There was no immediate word on who would take the ministries of finance or foreign affairs.
 
Mahlab is a civil engineer who formerly headed one of Egypt's biggest construction firms.
 
Hisham Zaazou, tourism minister in the Beblawi government, also kept his position. Tourism is one of the most important industries in Egypt but has been hammered in the last three years of turmoil.
 
Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour, minister of trade and industry in the Beblawi government, was appointed minister of a consolidated ministry merging trade and investment.
 
Cabinet sources said at least 14 of the ministers who served in Beblawi's 36-member cabinet would stay on. Four of the ministerial posts were either canceled or merged into other portfolios.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid