Egypt tourism minister resigns over 'ex-militant' Luxor governor

Bassem Abo Alabass, Wednesday 19 Jun 2013

Hisham Zaazou resigns as tourism minister over appointment of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Adel El-Khayat as governor of Luxor

Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office in Cairo, Egypt Thursday, March 28, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou has resigned in protest at the appointment of an ultimate-conservative Islamist as governor of Luxor.

"Hisham Zaazou insists on his departure, and I have not denied it as was reported by some websites," ministerial spokesperson Rasha Azazi told Ahram Online.

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil asked Zaazou to continue in his job but he refused, Azazi added.

On Tuesday, Zaazou met with PM Qandil to discuss his concerns about the appointment of Adel El-Khayat, a member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, as governor of Luxor. Zaazou tendered his resignation hours after the meeting.

Zaazou, a technocrat and political independent, was appointed tourism minister in August 2012. He was previously assistant to former tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour.

Members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya are accused of killing at least 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians in a terrorist attack in Luxor in 1997.

Luxor relies heavily on tourism and is considered one of the world's largest open-air museums.

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