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New Egypt PM reappoints some ministers

Source: Reuters - Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:27 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Mahlab reappoints interior minister, oil minister

* No word on whether Sisi to retain defence ministry (Adds name of tourism minister, background)

CAIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Egyptian Prime Minister-designate Ibrahim Mahlab reappointed several ministers on Wednesday in his new government, including Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, state TV reported.

The Interior Ministry is leading the state's campaign against militant violence that has soared since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year following mass protests against his rule.

Oil Minister Sherif Ismail and Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi were also reappointed. There was no immediate word on who would take the defence ministry, held by army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the outgoing cabinet, or the ministries of finance and foreign affairs.

Sisi needs to vacate the post of defence minister in order to mount a widely expected bid for the presidency in an election later this year.

The army-backed interim government led by Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi resigned unexpectedly on Monday.

Mahlab, a former official in deposed President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, was the housing minister in the outgoing government. He 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. (Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Asma Alsharif/Tom Perry; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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