Brotherhood in charge: Morsi retires pro-U.S. Tantawi, fires military command (WORLD TRIBUNE) CAIRO 08/13/12)
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CAIRO — The ruling Muslim Brotherhood has fired Egypt’s military
President Mohammed Morsi, the nation’s first Islamist president, has
dismissed many of the members of the ruling council. Morsi, a
leader, fired the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,
Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, as well as the military’s chief of
“Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has been transferred into retirement
from today,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said. “We thank the
field marshal for his invaluable services to the homeland.”
At a televised news conference on Aug. 12, Ali said the 76-year-old
Tantawi would be replaced by Col. Gen. Abdul Latifi Sisi. Sisi, 57 and
regarded as close to the Brotherhood, has been commander of military
intelligence and a member of the ruling military council.
“He is not a member of the Brotherhood,” Moataz Abdul Fattah, a
professor at Cairo University, said. “He is merely a religious man.”
Rada Hafez, commander of the Air Force, was named minister of state
for military production. Hafez was said to have replaced Lt. Gen.
Abdul Aziz Seif Eddin.
Morsi named another military council member, Gen. Mohammed Assar, as
deputy defense minister. Later, Assar said Morsi’s appointments were
coordinated with Tantawi and the council. The council did not issue
The president replaced Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, who played a
leading role in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, with
Gen. Sidki Sobhi, the 56-year-old commander of the Third Army.
Over the last year, Sobhi was sent to help calm unrest in such areas
Suez City and the Sinai Peninsula. Ali, the presidential spokesman,
Anan and Tantawi would become advisers to Morsi.
“I did not mean to send a negative message about anyone,” Morsi later
said. “My aim was to benefit the nation and people.”
In another move, Egyptian Navy commander Vice Adm. Mohab Mamish was
dismissed and appointed director-general of the Suez Canal Authority.
Mamish’s successor was not immediately announced.
“This is an attempt by the Brotherhood to take over the country,”
Egyptian parliamentarian Mustafa Bakri said.
Morsi, in a decree that stunned Western diplomats, also canceled a
military order that stripped the president of much of his authority.
June, the military council said the president would be unable to
or appoint commanders.
Both Anan and Tantawi were regarded as close to the United States,
relays $1.3 billion in annual military assistance. Over the last few
the administration of President Barack Obama assured Congress that
Tantawi would stop any attempt to downgrade military relations with
Washington, particularly restricting U.S. access to the Suez Canal.
On Aug. 8, Morsi replaced Egypt’s intelligence chief as well as senior
security officials. The president also ordered a reorganization of the
Interior Ministry in wake of an attack on Egyptian positions along the
Israeli border in which 16 soldiers were killed on Aug. 5.
“These appointments foiled plans of the counter-revolution and exposed
the third party, which wants to obstruct the path of Egypt’s
transition,” Essam Arian, vice president of the ruling Freedom and
Party, said. (Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 08/13/12)
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