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Egypt's Sisi swears in new cabinet

Sherif Ismail, oil minister in the previous government, was tasked with forming a new cabinet.

FILE: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi swore in a new government on 19 September 2015. Picture: AFP

CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi kept his finance, investment and interior ministers in a new government sworn in on Saturday, state news agency MENA reported, as he tries to rebuild an economy battered by Islamist militant violence.

Sisi named former head of the state oil company Tarek al-Mullah as petroleum minister, charged with easing the country's energy crisis and attracting more foreign investment in a strategic sector.

Mullah succeeds Sherif Ismail, seen as one of the best-performing ministers, who became prime minister.

The new government faces a multitude of challenges.

Islamic State, which seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, has gained the backing of the most active militant group in Egypt, the recently renamed Sinai Province.

Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have been killed in bombing and shooting attacks.

Egypt is struggling to get large volumes of foreign investment after years of political turmoil triggered by the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, even though Sisi's economic reforms have won praise.

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