Egypt changes defense, interior ministers in cabinet overhaul

Updated 15 June 2018
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Egypt changes defense, interior ministers in cabinet overhaul

  • Mohamed Ahmed Zaki Mohamed was named minister of defense, replacing Sedki Sobhi.
  • El-Sisi in April won re-election with 97 percent of the vote.

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi replaced the interior and defense ministers in a major reshuffle Thursday, with security forces battling an Islamist insurgency at the start of his second term.
El-Sisi, who also named a new finance minister, swept to another four years in office against a token challenger at elections in March, pledging to tackle the raft of security and economic challenges facing the country.
Egyptian forces have since February been waging a sweeping operation against the local affiliate of the Daesh group in the restive North Sinai province.
The new cabinet under freshly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, who previously served as housing minister, was sworn in live on state TV.
General Mohamed Ahmed Zaki Mohamed, who led the republican guard since August 2012, became the new defense minister in place of Sedki Sobhi.
Sobhi had held the post since taking over from El-Sisi when he ran for the top office in 2014, a year after spearheading the ouster of president Muhammad Mursi during mass protests.
The position of interior minister was filled by General Mahmoud Tawfiq, who had led the national security apparatus since October 2017, replacing Magdi Abdel Ghaffar.
Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Moeet, who has previously held several government posts in various ministries, replaced Amr el-Garhy in the key role of finance minister.
Egyptian authorities are implementing a sweeping economic reform program that prompted the International Monetary Fund to approve a three-year, $12-billion loan in November 2016.
Authorities have since also floated Egypt’s currency, cut fuel subsidies and adopted a value added tax, measures which have led to soaring consumer prices.
Other changes included the ministers overseeing aviation, health, communications, environment, commerce and agriculture.
The former cabinet resigned on June 5, days after El-Sisi was inaugurated for a second term.
El-Sisi has long promised to wipe out the Islamist insurgency in the Sinai as a spate of deadly attacks have hit the country.
Officials say more than 200 jihadists and at least 35 soldiers have been killed since the military launched the “Sinai 2018” operation.
El-Sisi, who has been accused of stamping out dissent in the country, was re-elected in March for his second term with 97 percent of the vote.
He faced only one little-known challenger after more serious opponents were either detained or sidelined.


Erdogan: KSA took ‘important step’ in revealing Khashoggi’s killing, but more answers needed

Updated 23 October 2018
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Erdogan: KSA took ‘important step’ in revealing Khashoggi’s killing, but more answers needed

  • The Turkish president expressed desire to conduct a joint investigation with the Saudis
  • Erdogan said he does not doubt King Salman’s sincerity in the matter

DUBAI: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech to parliament on Tuesday regarding the Turkish account of the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying that he does not doubt King Salman’s sincerity in the matter.
Erdogan said that the Turkish authorities couldn’t initially go into the Saudi consulate due to diplomatic immunity, and suggested that Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated and planned.
The Turkish president expressed desire to conduct a joint investigation with the Saudis, adding that they will continue trying to find facts.
Erdogan said that the Saudi authorities took an important step in revealing the crime happened, and that now they should reveal the names of those involved, suggesting that the 18 defendants be tried in Turkey.

(Developing)