After the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi Egypt is beginning to assemble political leadership to navigate the country through this period and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections. The leadership has stated that no political groups would be excluded which opens the doors for a more inclusive political environment for all Egyptians. There remain security concerns for Egypt’s Christian minority as security forces have been ill-equipped to deal with the street violence that erupted after Morsi’s removal The Coptic Christian community continues to fear attacks on church buildings and individuals.
7/14/2013 Egypt (NewsMax) – Egypt’s interim prime minister was assembling his cabinet on Sunday to lead the country under an army-backed “road map” to restore civil rule, with peace having returned to the streets after the military removed President Mohammed Morsi.
Hazem el-Beblawi, a 76-year-old liberal economist appointed interim prime minister last week, is tapping technocrats and liberals for a government to run the country under a temporary constitution until parliamentary elections in about six months.
A former ambassador to the United States, Nabil Fahmy, accepted the post of foreign minister, a sign of the importance the government places in its relationship with the superpower that provides $1.3 billion a year in military aid.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a former senior UN diplomat, was sworn in as vice president, a job he was offered last week.
The Obama Administration is sending its No. 2 diplomat, Deputy Secretary Bill Burns, to Cairo this week to meet with the interim government. It’s the first dispatch of a U.S. diplomat since Morsi’s ouster.
Also on Sunday, Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday no group would be barred from participating in politics. In a speech, Sisi also defended the army’s decision to remove Morsi from power, saying the deposed president had lost legitimacy because of mass demonstrations against him.
“Every political force without exception and without exclusion must realize that an opportunity is available for everyone in political life and no ideological movement is prevented from participating.”
Even so, Egypt’s public prosecutor on Sunday ordered the assets of 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders frozen, judicial sources told Reuters news service.
Government sources have told Reuters that el-Beblawi will offer the finance ministry to Hany Kadri, formerly the official who oversaw Egypt’s negotiations for a rescue with the International Monetary Fund, which stalled under Morsi.
Notably, Kadri is a member of the Coptic Christian minority, 10 percent of the population, which complained of being marginalized under Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi’s cabinet had only one Christian, as minister of scientific research.
“It is so good that finally we are being recognized as Egyptian citizens and given better representation in the government,” said Joseph Shukry, a 31-year-old Copt in Cairo.
“But we need to have better security around our churches, as there is no protection at all and we are so worried about Islamists’ attacks on our holy places.”