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Egypt Appoint New Defence, Foreign Ministers Amid Regional Unrest

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi on Wednesday swore in a new government that comprises new defence and foreign ministers amid regional turmoil and domestic economic woes.

Egypt, with an estimated 9 million refugees and migrants, has been hard hit by the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement in the neighbouring Gaza Strip and Sudan’s civil war.

State Egyptian media said Lieutenant-General Abdel-Maguid Saqr was appointed defence minister replacing General Mohammed Zaky.

Egypt’s veteran foreign minister Sameh Shoukry is replaced in the post by Badr Abdel-Atty, an ex-ambassador to Germany.

A televised swearing-in ceremony also showed newcomers to the portfolios of finance, oil, electricity, industry, housing, education, tourism, culture, justice and local development.

The new government is led by Mustafa Madbouly, who has served as Egypt’s prime minister since 2018.

Egypt, a country of around 105 million people, has for months been struggling with a severe economic crisis including a foreign currency crunch and soaring inflation.

In an attempt to stabilize the economy, Egypt in March announced leaving the value of its weak currency to be determined by market forces, resulting in a further devaluation.

The country is also experiencing a power crunch amid an increased demand spurred by intense summer heat and a shortage of gas supplies needed to operate electricity plants.

Last week, the European Union and Egypt signed a €1 billion (1.08 billion US dollars) financing agreement.

The agreement was for the Arab country as the first tranche of a larger €7.4 billion package that the EU announced in March.



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