Egypt tourism minister protests over Islamist governor

June 19, 2013 02:33


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CAIRO - Egypt's tourism minister tendered his resignation on Tuesday over President Mohamed Mursi's decision to appoint as governor of Luxor a member of a hardline Islamist group blamed for slaughtering 58 tourists there in 1997.

Prime Minister Hisham Kandil did not accept the resignation of Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, who remains in the post for now. However, the move pointed to a split in government over an appointment that one critic called "the last nail in the coffin" of the tourism industry.Mursi appointed Adel Mohamed al-Khayat, a member of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, as Luxor governor this week, a move seen as a sign of a deepening political alliance between the once-armed group and the head of the state's more mainstream Muslim Brotherhood.

Khayat told Reuters on Tuesday he had no role in the group's militant past including the 1997 massacre at the temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor's Valley of the Queens. He promised to welcome tourists and keep them safe.

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