Egypt's Sissi Swears in New Government

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Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Sherif Ismail, September 12, 2015.Credit: Reuters

REUTERS - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi kept his finance, investment and interior ministers in a new government sworn in on Saturday, state news agency MENA reported, as he tries to rebuild an economy battered by Islamist militant violence.

Sissi named former head of the state oil company Tarek al-Mullah as petroleum minister, charged with easing the country's energy crisis and attracting more foreign investment in a strategic sector.

Mullah succeeds Sherif Ismail, seen as one of the best-performing ministers, who became prime minister.

The new government faces a multitude of challenges.

Islamic State, which seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, has gained the backing of the most active militant group in Egypt, the recently renamed Sinai Province.

Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have been killed in bombing and shooting attacks.

Egypt is struggling to get large volumes of foreign investment after years of political turmoil triggered by the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, even though Sissi's economic reforms have won praise. 

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