Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will ask U.S. President Barack Obama to release from a North Carolina prison a blind Muslim preacher when he visits Washington soon.
Morsi told CNN that he wants Omar Abdul Rahman, the spiritual leader of Gama'a al-Islamiya terrorist group, to be free. The release of the ailing Rahman was among his election promises.
Rahman is serving a life sentence at the Butner Medical Center for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center's North Tower that killed six people and injured more than a thousand. His group was involved in the 1981 assassination of then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat but renounced violence in 1997 and is now a political party in Egypt.
If the U.S. refuses to release Rahman, Morsi said he will ask Obama to allow Rahman's family to visit him in prison.
Morsi said he plans to visit the U.S. for the first time before the end of March this year and raise the issue on Rahman when he meets Obama. He will also discuss with Obama Egypt-U.S. cooperation in scientific research, manufacturing and production, and tourism.
Morsi announces cabinet reshuffle before IMF loan talks
Just hours before a team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was due to resume talks for multi-billion dollar loan, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi fired ten ministers in his cabinet in a major cabinet reshuffle.
Specialist in Islamic finance Al-Morsi al-Sayyed Hegazi has been named as the new Finance Minister.
Hegazi will report to Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. He will replace Mumtaz al-Said, who also headed IMF loan negotiations last year.
It is believed that Muslim Brotherhood, the party, which supported Morsi's presidency, was against Said's Finance Ministry role, as he was too close with army.
Morsi also fired Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din and appointed former police general Mohammed Ibrahim to take over the new role.
The reshuffle saw the replacement in transport, electricity, domestic development, civil aviation, the environment, communications, supply and domestic trade, and parliamentary affairs ministry.
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