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Egypt names new foreign minister

Egypt on Sunday named its former ambassador to the United Nations, Nabil al-Arabi, as foreign minister in the latest move to purge the cabinet of members of toppled president Hosni Mubarak's regime.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2011 16:58 IST

Egypt on Sunday named its former ambassador to the United Nations, Nabil al-Arabi, as foreign minister in the latest move to purge the cabinet of members of toppled president Hosni Mubarak's regime.

"Nabil al-Arabi said he has accepted the foreign ministry portfolio during this critical time in the history of Egypt," the state-run MENA news agency reported.

Arabi replaces Ahmed Abul Gheit, who had been in the job since 2004.

A respected judge who served at the International Court of Justice in 2001, Arabi said he had already met with new Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and discussed "Arab and African affairs."

Arabi's name was among 25 proposed by a coalition of youth movements behind the uprising that overthrew Mubarak, which also included Sharaf.

Nationwide protests that erupted on January 25 to demand economic and political change left at least 384 dead and over 6,000 injured.

Sharaf, who was appointed on Thursday after demonstrations against the presence of Mubarak's associates in the caretaker government running affairs since the former president's departure, vowed to work for a democratic system.