Colonel General Sobhi replaces Field Marshal El-Sisi as Egypt's defence minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Mar 2014

Egypt's former army chief-of-staff Sedki Sobhi replaces future presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as defence minister; Hegazy chosen as new chief-of-staff

Egypt's newly appointed defence minister Colonel General Sedki Sobhi (L) and Major General Mahmoud Hegazi (R) the new army chief-of-staff (Photo courtesy of Egypt's army spokesman's official Facebook page)

Former chief-of-staff Sedki Sobhi was sworn in by interim president Adly Mansour on Thursday as new defence minister after former Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi officially resigned the post earlier in the day.

El-Sisi had announced his resignation from the army and intention to run for the country's presidency late on Wednesday in a speech aired on state TV.

Field Marshall El-Sisi attended a cabinet meeting on Thursday in civilian attire and presented his resignation to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, exchanging farewells with cabinet ministers.

As a precursor of his appointment to the Ministry of Defence, Sobhi was promoted colonel general by Interim President Adly Mansour on Wednesday, a rank historically reserved solely for this post.

Graduating from Egypt's Military Academy in 1976, Sobhi has since held many senior posts, including the command of Egypt's Third Army, stationed in Suez and South Sinai, and his recent position as deputy chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which he now heads as minister of defence.

Replacing Sobhi as chief-of-staff is Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazi, head of military intelligence, the post held by El-Sisi before his promotion to minister of defence under ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in August, 2012.

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