Top News: Egypt’s Tantawi to Remain Defense Minister


Egypt’s armed forces chief will keep his post as defense minister in a new cabinet to be formed by President-elect Mohamed Mursi, a member of the military council said. 


Egypt’s Tantawi to remain defense minister

[Al Arabiya, 6/28/2012] Egypt’s armed forces chief will keep his post as defense minister in a new cabinet to be formed by President-elect Mohamed Mursi, a member of the military council said. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 76, who served as defense minister for two decades under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, will keep his post after Egypt’s first Islamist president takes over, Major-General Mohamed Assar said in a rare appearance on a talk show on privately-owned CBC television on Wednesday night. “The (new) government will have a defense minister who is head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” he said. Asked if this meant Tantawi would keep his defense portfolio, Assar said: “Exactly. What is wrong with that? He is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the defense minister and the commander of the armed forces.”

Morsy to swear oath before court, military says

[Egypt Independent, 6/28/2012] Informed military sources said Thursday that President-elect Mohamed Morsy would be sworn in before the general assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday morning, after which the armed forces plans to hold a ceremony to transfer power to the president. Preparations are underway for the ceremony, which will include a military parade that the president watches from an open car in the Hikestep area along the Cairo-Ismailia Desert Road, the sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on condition of anonymity.

Morsi to name Prime Minister Saturday, sources say

[Egypt Independent, 6/28/2012] Sources close to President-elect Mohamed Morsy said he would officially name his prime minister Saturday and that negotiations are underway to form a new Cabinet.The sources said the new prime minister would be an independent figure, as Morsy’s spokesperson and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders have affirmed before. Denying recent media reports, the sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on condition of anonymity that neither Constitution Party founder Mohamed ElBaradei nor former Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawy are among the nominees. They also said Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri would not be tapped for the post. "ElBaradei has not received any proposal from the president or the military council on holding the prime minister position or any other office," Constitution Party co-founder Shokry Fouad told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Talks underway with ex-constituent assembly members: Moussa

[Ahram Online, Al Ahram Gateway (Arabic) 6/28/2012] Negotiations are currently underway with resigned members of Egypt’s constituent assembly to entice them to return to the controversy-dogged constitution-drafting body, Amr Moussa, former presidential candidate and constituent assembly member, said on Thursday. Moussa was quoted as saying that the talks were "going well." According to Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website, Egypt’s former top diplomat said dialogue was still taking place between various political forces aimed at enticing resigned members back to the 100-member assembly. Moussa was quoted as saying that the next 48 hours would likely see "important developments regarding the assembly’s composition."

Activists meet with Morsy, discuss goals of revolution

[Egypt Independent, Al Ahram (Arabic) 6/28/2012] A number of activists met with President-elect Mohamed Morsy on Wednesday to work toward implementing the partnership document that was launched at the National Front conference as a platform for achieving the goals of the revolution. Activist Wael Ghonim said the meeting discussed transparency with the people in all decisions made by the government, while activist Wael Khalil said the meeting was to express support for Morsy. Activist Asmaa Mahfouz said Morsy’s promises are calculated but he seems to mean well for Egypt.


Ex-minister, Mubarak confidante sentenced to 15 years in Egypt-Israel gas trial

[Ahram Online , 6/28/2012] Businessman and close confidante of Egypt’s ousted-president Hussein Salem and ex-minister of petroleum Sameh Fahmy, were both sentenced to 15 years in jail by Cairo’s Criminal Court Thursday for squandering public funds in a gas deal with Israel. The case was filed against Fahmy, who served as oil minister from 1999 to 2011, and six Mubarak-era officials in the petroleum sector, as they sold Egyptian gas to Israel at prices below market value via a direct order without respecting and adhering to the correct legal procedures. Egypt agreed to provide Israel with natural gas in 2005, in a deal built on the landmark 1979 peace accords. The public prosecution claimed the agreement cost Egypt over $714 million in losses. Salem, who is a founding shareholder of the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) which has supplied Israel since June 2008, was accused of collaborating with EMG to secure lucrative gas deals.


‘Million Man March’ to take place on Friday against the Constitutional Addendum

[Al Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Online, 6/28/2012] Several political parties and movements, among them the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Al Gama’a Al Islamiya, members of the April 6 Movement, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition and the People’s Democratic Front, have announced that they will participate in a million man march this Friday, against the ruling military’s constitutional addendum. The Secretary General of the Revolution’s Board of Trustees, Safwat Hegazy, called on political forces to continue their sit-in at Tahrir Square till the amendment is repealed, together with the decision to dissolve parliament, and until the release of all political detainees, promising no interference in the constitution drafting committee and that SCAF should take its hands off the political scene.


Egypt to sue Iranian news agency over ‘fabricated’ interview

[Al Arabiya, 6/28/2012] The office of Egyptian President-elect Mohammed Mursi will file a lawsuit against the Iranian news agency Fars for making up an interview with him which said he promised to improve ties between the two countries, a spokesman said on Wednesday. “President Mursi was never interviewed by Iran’s Fars news agency. The interview was fabricated and his presidential office has begun taking legal action against the news agency,” a presidential spokesperson, Yasser Ali, told Reuters. Iran has hailed Mursi’s victory over former air force commander Ahmed Shafiq in Egypt’s first free presidential election as a “splendid vision of democracy” that marked the country’s “Islamic Awakening.”

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