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Sedki Sobhi sworn in as new Egypt defence minister
Thursday March 27, 2014 7:43 PM, IANS

Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sedki Sobhi took oath of office Thursday as the country's new defence minister to succeed his predecessor Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi who resigned to run for the presidency, media reported.

Interim President Adli Mansour promoted Sobhi Wednesday from lieutenant general to the higher rank of general, a preparatory step for the chief of staff to replace Sisi as defence minister, Xinhua reported citing the state TV.

Sisi declared his widely anticipated candidacy in a campaign-style televised speech Wednesday, vowing to fight for an Egypt "free of terrorism" and promising to build a "democratic and modern" country.

Egypt's newly-approved constitution allows only civilians to run for president, which required Sisi to give up the military post to join the presidential race.

Sobhi attended his first cabinet meeting Thursday night after taking oath before the interim president.

Meanwhile, Mansour issued a presidential decree promoting Major General Mahmoud Hegazy to the higher rank of lieutenant general and appointed him the new military chief of staff to replace Sobhi.

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