Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday appointed a senior army officer as the country’s new transport minister, replacing his predecessor Hisham Arafat who resigned in February after the recent train crash in Cairo’s main station.
Speaking to the military on the occasion of the “Martyrs’ Day” celebration, Sisi said that he had nominated Kamel Al-Wazir – the chairman of the Egyptian military’s engineering body – to take over the transport portfolio.
“The nomination has been sent to the House of Representatives for approval,” Sisi pointed out. “You have all the support in your new role,” the Egyptian president said, addressing Al-Wazir.
On his part, Wazir thanked Sisi for his “trust” and promised, “to work hard to upgrade the country’s railway system.”Politicians see the new appointment as underscoring Sisi’s penchant for military leadership in government key positions.
At least 25 people were killed and some 50 others injured after a fire that had erupted at Cairo’s Ramses Station on 27 February. The state-run National Railway Authority later reported that the blaze was triggered by a high-speed train colliding with a concrete buffer stop at the main station in downtown Cairo.