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Egypt's President Morsi to issue statement on Suleiman death imminently

Morsi's office to release formal statement on Thursday death of Mubarak-era intelligence chief 'within hours,' says presidential spokesman

Ahram Online, Thursday 19 Jul 2012
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Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali announced on Thursday afternoon that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi would issue a statement on the death of Mubarak-era intelligence chief Omar Suleiman within hours.

The decision came following journalists' inquiries as to why the presidential office had failed to issue formal condolences until now.

Suleiman died early Thursday at the age of 76 while undergoing medical treatment in the United States.

In April, Suleiman nominated himself to run in Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential poll against popular Muslim Brotherhood nominee Khairat El-Shater among other candidates. Both, however, were ultimately disqualified from the race by Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission.

During Suleiman's short-lived presidential campaign, he portrayed himself as a staunch enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam.

In the final years of Mubarak's tenure, Suleiman earned notoriety as a key architect of the years-long blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Suleiman reportedly warned that Egypt would suffer unpleasant ramifications if Morsi, a senior figure in the Brotherhood, was elected president.

Morsi was inaugurated as Egypt's president late last month.

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