'Egyptian PM accepts foreign minister's resignation'

Mohammed El-Orabi steps down after 1 month in role; Egypt PM Essam Sharaf expected to announce new cabinet soon, according to MENA.

By REUTERS
July 17, 2011 02:18
1 minute read.
Egyptian protesters

Egyptians 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf announced on his Facebook page Saturday that he had accepted the resignation of his Foreign Minister, Mohammed El-Orabi. State news agency MENA said Orabi resigned to pave a planned cabinet reshuffle.

Sharaf is in the middle of consultations over the reshuffle he promised last week after Egyptians resumed protests in Cairo to press for faster reforms and a speedy trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, ousted in February.

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Sharaf was expected to announce his new cabinet on Monday, MENA said.

No names were floated as a replacement for Orabi, who took over earlier this month succeeding Nabil Elaraby, who became Arab League Secretary General.

The news agency quoted Sharaf's foreign policy adviser and spokesman, Mohamed Hegazy, as saying the prime minister had chosen Hazem El Beblawi "to supervise the economic file and the economic group within the cabinet."

Sharaf also chose Ali al-Silmi of the Wafd Party, Egypt's oldest party, as his deputy "for political development and democratic transformation", the agency said.

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Hundreds of protesters camped out for more than a week in Cairo's Tahrir Square have been demanding tangible changes on the ground to improve their lives.

They also want speedier trials of Mubarak and some of his aides accused of graft, and of police officers suspected of killing demonstrators in January.

Beblawi, 74, is an adviser to the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi.

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