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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

State TV: Egypt President Announces New Government

CAIRO -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak swore in a new Cabinet on Monday, replacing one dissolved as a concession to unprecedented anti-government protests.

In the most significant change, the interior minister -- who heads internal security forces -- was replaced. A retired police general, Mahmoud Wagdi, was named to replace Habib el-Adly, who is widely despised by protesters for brutality shown by security forces.

The longest-serving Cabinet minister, Culture Minister Farouq Hosni, was replaced by Gaber Asfour, a widely respected literary figure.

Egypt's most famous archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, was named state minister for antiquities, a new post.

He also appeared to distance himself from the economic policies directed by his son Gamal, widely blamed for causing a wide gap between the rich and poor, for whom economic hardships have deepened. In the letter, Mubarak urged "new economic policies that give maximum care to an economic performance which pays heed to the suffering of the citizens, and lightening their burden."

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