Egypt's Former Finance Minister Hazem el-Biblawi Named as Interim PM

Transitional administration taps liberal politician Mohammed ElBaradei as deputy president for foreign affairs, after four-day impasse over decision; U.S. says 'encouraged' by Egypt's plans for elections in six months.

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Egypt's interim president on Tuesday named liberal economist and former finance minister Hazem el-Biblawi as prime minister in a transitional government, as the authorities sought to steer the country to new parliamentary and presidential elections.

Acting head of state Adli Mansour also appointed former UN nuclear agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei as deputy to the president, responsible for foreign affairs.

The hardline Islamist Nour Party, which has held up the political process by objecting several candidates put forward by military-backed interim authorities, said it would support Biblawi's appointment. The head of the party added that it was still studying ElBaradei's appointment.

Egypt's military overthrew elected leader President Mohammed Morsi last week, amid days of violent demonstrations. Clashes between Islamists and the military have continued since then, and the country's economy is in dire straits.

Nour had signed up to the army's roadmap for the political transition, giving Islamist legitimacy to an audacious overthrow rejected by Islamic parties aligned to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Unlike Nour, the Brotherhood has said it would have no part in the military-backed political process.

When asked about the government's intention to hold parliamentary elections in about six months, a U.S. official said Washing ton encouraged that Egypt's interim government has "laid out a plan for the path forward."

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, made clear the U.S. would react with some caution to the plan for quick elections, unveiled a day after 55 people were killed when troops fired on a crowd supporting Egypt's ousted Morsi.

Also on Tuesday, Egypt's prosecutor general onTuesday began investigating 650 people suspected of involvement in that inciden, the state news agency said..

Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood and survivors said they wereconducting peaceful dawn prayers when security forces, unprovoked, began to fire on them.

The military says armed men attacked troops in the areaaround the Republican Guard compound, and that one officer waskilled in the clashes and 42 were wounded.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said suspects were accused ofcrimes including murder, attempted murder, "thuggery," carryingfirearms and ammunition without licences, obtaining explosives, compromising public security for "terrorist purposes" andblocking roads.

The report did not say who exactly was under investigation, but referred to the incident as "an attack by armed terroristgroups on soldiers and officers of the armed forces."

Egypt's interim administration said on Monday it had formeda judicial committee to investigate the killings, which deepenedpolitical turmoil that has gripped Egypt since a 2011 uprisingoverthrew Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian army soldiers taking their positions near armored vehicles which guard the entrances of Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 8, 2013.Credit: AP

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