Egypt names prime minister

Updated: 2013-07-10 07:44


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CAIRO - Gulf states showered Cairo with $8 billion in aid on Tuesday, showing their support for the Egyptian army's move to push the Muslim Brotherhood from power, a day after troops killed dozens of the movement's supporters.

Egypt names prime minister

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi listen to a speech during a protest in Cairo July 9, 2013.[Photo/Agencies]

Military-backed interim head of state Adli Mansour named a liberal economist as acting prime minister and announced a faster-than-expected timetable for elections in six months.

Mansour's army backers are under pressure to plot a path back to democracy less than a week after they overthrew Egypt's first freely elected president, the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi.

The country is now more divided than ever in its modern history after 55 people were killed when troops opened fire on Brotherhood supporters in the capital. The movement says the victims were praying in peace; the government blames the Islamists for provoking the violence by attacking the soldiers.

Mansour, a judge installed as acting president when the military removed Mursi, named Hazem el-Beblawi as interim prime minister. He served briefly as finance minister in 2011. Former U.N. diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, now a liberal party leader, is to be deputy president responsible for foreign affairs.

Importantly, the choice of Beblawi won the acceptance of the ultra-orthodox Islamist Nour Party - sometime ally of Mursi and the Brotherhood. Nour leaders have been courted by the interim authorities to show that Islamists need not be marginalized.

Monday's bloodshed has raised alarm among key donors such as the United States and the European Union, as well as in Israel, with which Egypt has had a U.S.-backed peace treaty since 1979.

Wealthy Gulf Arab states, long suspicious of the Muslim Brotherhood, have shown fewer reservations. The United Arab Emirates offered a grant of $1 billion and a loan of $2 billion. Saudi Arabia offered $3 billion in cash and loans, and an additional $2 billion worth of much-needed fuel.

In a further demonstration of its support, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed visited Egypt on Tuesday, the most senior foreign official to arrive since Mursi's removal.

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