Printed on: July 10, 2013
Egypt names prime minister
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's interim president named an economist as prime minister Tuesday, ending days of deadlock as the head of the military pressured political factions to speed along the process, warning them that "maneuvering" must not hold up the transition toward new elections after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
The appointment of Hazem el-Beblawi, along with the setting of a swift timetable for parliamentary and presidential elections early next year, underlined the military-backed leadership's determination to push ahead with their transition plans in the face of Islamist protests demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.
The new leadership got a boost Tuesday from Arab allies in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both opponents of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, celebrated his ouster by showering the cash-strapped Egyptian government with promises of $8 billion worth of cash grants, loans and badly needed gas and oil.
In doing so, they are effectively stepping in for Morsi's Gulf patron, Qatar, a close ally of the Brotherhood that gave his government several billion in aid. During Morsi's year in office, he and his officials toured multiple countries seeking cash to prop up rapidly draining foreign currency reserves and plug mounting deficits -- at times getting a cold shoulder.
The developments underlined the multiple pressures on the new leadership even with the country still in turmoil after what Morsi's supporters have called a coup against democracy.
The military faces calls, from the United States and Western allies in particular, to show that civilians are in charge and Egypt is on a path toward a new democratically based leadership.