CAIRO - The head of Egypt's armed forces
was sworn in on Tuesday as interim first deputy prime minister,
as well as keeping his posts as minister of defense and military
The new interim government has been backed by General
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's army that overthrew elected Islamist
President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. According to analysts, the
new post is likely to further increase the military's influence
over political decisions.
Liberal politician Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, a Christian,
was sworn in as interim trade and industry minister.
A spokesman for
Egypt's interim president said on Tuesday authorities expected Islamist
movements to join in national reconciliation, including the Muslim
"We expect most Islamic currents to participate in
reconciliation ... including the Muslim Brotherhood," Ahmed Elmoslmany
told reporters in Cairo.
He said the Muslim Brotherhood and the
Islamist Nour Party had both been offered cabinet posts. Both groups
have refused to participate in the government, although Nour has said it
will advise interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi.
figure in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday that talk of
national reconciliation among rival parties and groups was "lies" and
that el-Beblawi had not offered the movement any posts.
not see national reconciliation unless it's on the basis of the ending
of the military coup," Mohamed El-Beltagi, a senior figure in the
Islamist movement, told reporters.
"Beblawi, or anyone from the
government of the coup, did not offer us any position in the government,
and if they do, we will refuse," Mohamed El-Beltagi told reporters.
Seven people were killed
and more than 260 wounded when Morsi supporters clashed with the
deposed president's opponents and security forces through the night as
violence returned to Egypt's streets.
Two people were killed at a
bridge in central Cairo where police and anti-Morsi locals clashed with
some of his supporters who were blocking a route across the River Nile.
Another five were killed in the Cairo district of Giza, said the head
of emergency services, Mohamed Sultan.
The street battles, which
raged into the early hours of Tuesday morning, were the bloodiest since
more than 50 Morsi supporters were killed a week ago.
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