Egypt appoints ministers for foreign affairs, investment

June 17, 2014 - 7:13:49 am

CAIRO: Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb appointed a former ambassador to Washington as foreign minister and a university professor as minister for international cooperation, a cabinet spokesman said yesterday.

Spokesman Hossam El Kawish said Sameh Shukri (pictured), had been named Egypt’s top diplomat. He said Naglaa El Ahwany was the new minister for international cooperation, which works with foreign entities to promote development in Egypt.

The prime minister also appointed veteran banker Ashraf Salman as investment minister, state-run news website Al Ahram said. 

The decision to appoint a separate investment minister reverses a decision this year to merge the ministry with that of industry and trade, and could help Cairo entice back foreign funds to stimulate an economy racked by years of political turmoil.

Al Ahram said Hany Dimian would remain finance minister and Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour would stay on as minister of industry. Most ministers in other key economic and security posts, including Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, were expected to stay on.

The new cabinet is to be sworn in today after the previous government resigned following the former army chief’s landslide victory in a May presidential election.

New President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who led last year’s ouster by the army of Islamist Mohamed Mursi, had tasked premier Ibrahim Mahlab with forming a new cabinet after he was sworn in on June 8.

“Prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab has finished meetings with his new ministerial team which is to be sworn in today,” the official Mena news agency reported.

Mahlab, who was retained as premier by Sisi, finalised a 34-member lineup which has 13 new ministers including Shoukri, it added. It did not specify why Fahmy, who made a high-profile visit to the United States in April was being replaced..

He was the most senior Egyptian official to visit Washington since Sisi overthrew the elected Mursi in July in a move that has strained ties between the longtime allies.

Agencies

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