Egypt Names Mohammed al-Orabi as New Foreign Minister

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Egypt on Sunday appointed Mohammed al-Orabi as the new foreign minister to replace Nabil al-Arabi who will head the Arab League, the official MENA news agency reported.

"Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has tasked Ambassador Mohammed al-Orabi, the deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, to take up the position of minister of foreign affairs," MENA said.

Orabi was previously Egypt's ambassador to Germany and had also served in Kuwait, London and Washington.

He joined the foreign service in 1976 and served as deputy ambassador in Tel Aviv before becoming Egypt's envoy to Berlin in 2001.

He also served as the coordinator of the Arab Economic Summit which was last held at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Orabi joins Sharaf's caretaker government tasked with managing the country's affairs during the post-revolt transition.

Nationwide protests that erupted in January to demand economic and political change led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak and saw power handed to a military council.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has vowed to pave the way for a free and democratic system, with parliamentary elections scheduled in September and a presidential poll by the end of the year.

Orabi succeeds popular foreign minister Arabi, who was last month elected to head the 22-member Arab League.

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