World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's armed forces chief will keep his post as defence minister in a new cabinet to be formed by President-elect Mohamed Mursi, a member of the military council said.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 76, who served as defence minister for two decades under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, will keep his post after Egypt's first Islamist president takes over, Major-General Mohamed Assar said in a rare appearance on a talk show on privately-owned CBC television on Wednesday night.
"The (new) government will have a defence minister who is head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," he said.
Asked if this meant Tantawi would keep his defence portfolio, Assar said: "Exactly. What is wrong with that? He is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the defence minister and the commander of the armed forces."
Tantawi effectively pushed the 84-year-old Mubarak aside on Feb. 11 last year when it became clear the security forces could not contain street protests against his 30-year rule.
The republic's past presidents, all drawn from the military, have had the title of supreme commander of the armed forces.
Yet Assar's assertion that Tantawi would remain in place even before Mursi has been sworn in on Saturday illustrates the limits the military seeks to set on his presidential authority.
The army council backed a supreme court decision on June 14 to dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament on the grounds that rules were broken during its election six months ago.
The military council then assumed legislative powers, which Assar said it would exercise until a new assembly is elected.
In another of several actions which the Muslim Brotherhood denounced as a military coup before Mursi's election win was confirmed on Sunday, the council also named a newly created National Defence Council to run defence and foreign policies.
Although Mursi and his future prime minister will also serve on the council, they will be outnumbered by the generals in a body whose decisions will be taken by majority vote.
Assar insisted that Mursi, a 60-year-old U.S.-trained engineer, would have full presidential prerogatives, even as he set an apparent limit on his right to decide on war or peace.
"The president is the head of state with full powers. The president makes a decision to go to war in consultation with the military rulers," Assar said, adding that this was normal practice in other countries, including the United States.
Two former U.S. soldiers testified at the pre-trial hearing of a one-time comrade charged with killing two unarmed Iraqi boys
U.S. officials have grown increasingly impatient with what they describe as Russia's failure to live up to its commitments in an April 17 agreement reached in Geneva to try to de-escalate the crisis
Congress will need to approve the move before it goes through.
The pictures, flowers and spaces are banked up the entire wall of a gymnasium near Danwon High School in Ansan, on the outskirts of Seoul.
Zhang Zhiru's brief detention underscores nervousness among officials about the strike, which began on April 14 at a Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd shoe manufacturing complex that employs some 40,000 workers
On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement that aims to end years of division between the two factions.
Two weeks of scouring the Indian Ocean floor with a U.S. Navy submersible drone had turned up no wreckage.
The winner of the race will inherit a strong but slowing growth rate in the country and will oversee the completion of a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal
The Fallujah dam was recently seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group, which took control of large swathes of the city last December.
Pacific nation that was site of 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958 accuses states of 'flagrant denial of human justice'
The two core EU nations' top diplomats affirmed plans to speed up the signing of a deal to boost trade and political ties
Abdel Aziz came to power in an army coup in 2008, won an election the next year and is a Western ally
In a sign of further delays to restart vital oil exports from the volatile east, rebels said the Tripoli government had failed to fulfil its part of the accord reached this month.
Hamid Babaei, spokesman for Iran's U.N. mission in New York, vehemently rejected U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power's remarks
Kiir had accused the four detainees - a former ruling party official, national security minister, deputy finance minister and ambassador to Washington - of fomenting a coup
The Pentagon criticized Russia's military drills near the border with Ukraine, while Russia demands U.S. stop Ukraine's military operation