Egypt’s foreign minister faces sack in cabinet reshuffle

Egyptian government sources familiar with the imminent cabinet reshuffle have revealed that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will, most likely, not be included the new cabinet.

The sources revealed to Al-Araby Al-Jadid news that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has informed Prime Minister Sharif Ismail to nominate candidates for the foreign minister post.

According to the sources, reports on Shoukry from various Egyptian state agencies, notably the General Intelligence Service, were very negative.

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The intelligence service report said that the minister’s performance has aggravated a number of diplomatic crises for Egypt. They include; the murder of Italian student in Cairo, Giulio Regeni, as well as the crisis with Saudi Arabia and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The reports also described Shoukry’s performance as “lacklustre”.

The sources pointed out that “the past few days have witnessed something of a muted struggle between the intelligence service and the presidency over Shoukry”.

While the intelligence service community demands Shoukry’s removal, the presidency and manager of Sisi’s Office, Major General Abbas Kamel, have tried to keep Shoukry in his post on the grounds that he follows the presidency’s orders.

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Government sources pointed out that “recent media leaks aired by Mekameleen TV channel have underlined Shoukry’s name in the reshuffle file. The leaks, they claim, have given the regime an opportunity to sack Shoukry and that Sisi himself was unaware of the coordination details between his foreign minister and Israeli officials.

According to the sources, Egypt’s UN envoy Maged Abdel Fattah is likely to succeed Shoukry because he enjoys large acceptance by the United States and Egyptian state agencies.