Egypt's Islamist New President Defends Top Military DismissalsWorld | August 13, 2012, Monday // 07:50| views
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi meets with Military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan and head of the Military council Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi on July 4, 2012. Photo by Egyptian Presidency
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has defended his dismissal of the country's powerful defense minister and a top military general, claiming it was done in the interests of his country.
On Sunday Morsi signed decrees on the retirement of Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister who headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after the 2011 ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak, and the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Anan.
"The decrees that I signed on Sunday on the dismissal of Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and Military Chief of Staff Sami Anan were passed in the interests of Egypt," Morsi said, as cited by Egyptian media
He also said that the reshuffle in the top brass "was not aimed at somebody personally and was not intended to intimidate or weaken any state structure."
After Morsi signed decrees on the dismissal of Tantawi and Anan, he immediately appointed them as presidential advisors.
Also on Sunday, Morsi canceled a constitutional declaration aiming to limit presidential powers which the ruling army council issued in June.
The new Egyptian government led by Prime Minister Hesham Qandil was sworn in before President Morsi on August 2, 2012.
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