CAIRO, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Egypt's new military leader is well-known in Washington and has long-standing ties to the United States, the Obama administration said.
In a weekend power shake-up, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi tapped Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as defense minister.
U.S. officials expressed confidence that el-Sisi, who previously led Egyptian military intelligence, will maintain close ties with the United States and uphold Egypt's peace agreement with Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported.
El-Sisi's ties to the United States date back more than 30 years to a military training course he took at Fort Benning, Ga., officials said. More recently, he met with senior U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser.
"We know new defense minister el-Sisi from his previous post, and we look forward to continuing to work with him now," White House press secretary Jay Carney said during a media briefing Monday.
Sisi was appointed after Morsi dismissed Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and voided a constitutional declaration that strengthened the military's political power following the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
"This seems to be a move to preserve the military's long-standing privileges as opposed to a move to back the military's purely national defense mission," said Hisham Sallam, an analyst and editor at the Middle East political blog Jadalliya.
U.S. officials told the Journal they expected Morsi to shakeup Egypt's military, but said they believe Morsi used a militant attack in the Sinai in which 16 Egyptian troops were killed as an excuse to remold the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which ran Egypt after Mubarak's ouster and which Tantawi once led.
|Additional World News Stories|
MOUNT VERNON, Wash., May 23 (UPI) --The Skagit River Bridge in Skagit County, Wash., collapsed Thursday, sending the north and southbound lanes of Interstate 5 into the water, police said.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 23 (UPI) --Tom Felton, Kate Walsh, Julian McMahon and David Boreanaz have signed on for roles in the Los Angeles-shot drama series "Full Circle," producers said.
MANILA, May 24 (UPI) --The Philippines is determined to spend $1.8 billion on military upgrades -- mostly naval -- to protect the country against "bullies" in its territorial waters.