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Egypt’s President Orders Defense Minister, Top General Retirement - TV

RIA Novosti

19:55 12/08/2012

CAIRO, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has deposed the country's powerful defense minister and a top military officer, pushing them into "retirement" but naming them as presidential advisors, state television announced Sunday.

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister who headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after the 2011 ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak, and the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, "will be sent to retirement," state-run Nile Television reported Sunday evening.

According to an announcement by Morsi's spokesman, the new head of the military would be General Abdellatif Sisi. Morsi also cancelled a constitutional declaration aiming to limit presidential powers which the ruling army council issued in June as the election that brought him to power drew to a close, the Haaretz daily said.

President Morsi, who was elected in June, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Relations between the Brotherhood and the military have been tense since the fall of Mubarak.

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