He said the U.S. has “made that view clear to the Egyptian authorities – the existing transitional government included.”
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns remained in Cairo for the second day of a two-day visit. On Tuesday, State Department officials said that Burns had spoken to someone from the Muslim Brotherhood, but they would not say to whom or for how long they spoke or about what. A face-to-face meeting did not happen, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters, because of logistics. He did not elaborate.
El-Sissi’s new posting was one of many surprises in the new Cabinet. Rather than sweep the decks clear of all those who served during Morsi’s one year in office, the transitional government retained some of Morsi’s ministers, though none of those kept were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor was there any member of the conservative Islamist Nour party in the new Cabinet. There were however, three Christians named to it.
Some of the appointments were arranged hastily. Khaled Abd el Aziz, the newly named minister of youth who’d held the same position during the 18 months between Morsi’s inauguration and the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, told McClatchy that Prime Minister Beblawi called him Tuesday morning to asking him to rejoin the government. He said he accepted the post by noon. He was sworn in at 3 p.m.
Osama Saleh, Morsi’s minister of investment, retained his post, as did Morsi’s minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou, who tried twice to resign in Morsi’s final days.
Mohammed Ibrahim, who oversaw an Interior Ministry whose police forces refused in the end to defend Morsi, will remain interior minister. Ahmed Galal, an economist and World Bank expert, was named minister of finance.
Three women were among the new Cabinet members – the minister of health, the minister of environment and the minister of information. But Mansour has vowed to eventually shut down the Ministry of Information, as Egyptians see it as a tool of government propaganda.
Lesley Clark and Hannah Allam contributed from Washington to this report.