PM accepts foreign minister’s resignation

Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has accepted the resignation of his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed al-Orabi, state-run TV announced on Saturday.

The news was confirmed on the cabinet’s Facebook page.

Twenty days ago, Orabi succeeded Nabil al-Araby, who had been named as the new secretary general of the Arab League.

Orabi said he  made the move in order to “relieve Sharaf of any embarrassment.”

“It’s over. I’m not aspiring to any post. I decided to submit my resignation to give the chance to someone else,” he told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“I told the prime minister that I realized the pressures he had been facing. I saw the comments made on Facebook and in media outlets, and felt pressure on the prime minister. I thought it would be brave to quit.”

A number of Egypt’s revolutionary youths had criticized Orabi’s appointment, accusing him of affiliation to the former regime,and of being a supporter of power inheritance. Hosni Mubarak was widely believed to have been grooming his younger son, Gamal, for presidency.

Orabi’s resignation caused a lot of confusion in the ministry's schedule. He was due to meet on Sunday with the United Nation’s deputy secretary general, as well as the “popular diplomacy” delegation that recently paid a visit to Iran.

Meanwhile, speculations emerged around the identity of Orabi’s possible successor. Potential nominees are ambassador Hani Khallaf, Egypt’s current envoy to Libya, and Mohamed Refaa al-Tahtawy, Egypt’s former ambassador to Libya.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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