Egypt PM: I don’t rule out Brotherhood role in new cabinet
CAIRO - Egypt's Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said on Thursday he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new cabinet, if the candidates were suitably qualified.
Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, said he was still considering who would comprise the interim government after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in a popular military coup last week.
"I don't look at political association ... If someone is named from (the Brotherhood's) Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post" he may be considered, Beblawi told AFP in a telephone interview.
"I'm taking two criteria for the next government. Efficiency and credibility," he added.
State media had quoted an aide to interim president Adly Mansour saying Beblawi would offer Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood some posts in the new government.
The offer has already been rejected by the Islamists, who demand Morsi's reinstatement.
"So far I haven't approached anyone," Beblawi added, explaining he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government.
Meanwhile, gunmen on Wednesday opened fire on the car of a senior military commander in Egypt's restive Sinai peninsula, the army spokesman said, a day after two people died in an attack by militants on a security checkpoint.
The car of the second field army chief "came under heavy fire, which led to clashes between security forces and the terrorist elements," the spokesman said in a statement.
Security officials said the commander was not hurt in the attack which took place in the Sheikh Zuwayed area near the border with the Gaza Strip.
One girl was hurt during the exchange of fire and died later in hospital, the army said.
This is the latest in a string of attacks in Sinai "targeting the army and the police in recent days with the aim of sowing chaos and harming the stability and national security of Egypt," the army said.