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ARAFAT HONORED ON ANNIVERSARY
Egyptian intelligence service chief Omar Suleiman places a wreath at the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in Arafat's former office compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2004, as Palestinians mark the end of forty days since his death. (UPI Photo/Jamal Aruri/POOL)
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Omar Suleiman (Arabic: عمر سليمان‎, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: ; born 2 July 1936) is a former Egyptian army general, politician, diplomat, and intelligence officer. A leading figure in Egypt's intelligence system since 1986, Suleiman was appointed to the long-vacant Vice Presidency by then-President Hosni Mubarak on 29 January 2011. On 11 February 2011, Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation and ceased being Vice President; governing power was transferred to the Armed Forces Supreme Council, of which Suleiman is not a member. A new head of intelligent services was appointed by the ruling Supreme Council. Suleiman withdrew from the political scene and did not appear in public after announcing Mubarak's resignation.

Millions of Egyptian citizens involved in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 opposed Suleiman or Mubarak remaining in power without elections taking place. Human rights groups tied Suleiman’s career to a regime marked by widespread human rights abuses, and asserted that many Egyptians "see Suleiman as Mubarak II." Torture victims and human rights groups charged that Suleiman oversaw the systematic use of torture on detainees and that in at least one instance he personally tortured a detainee during his career in intelligence. In response to the 2011 protests, Suleiman blamed foreign influence and appealed to protestors to go home.

Suleiman was born in Qena in Upper Egypt. In 1954 at the age of 19, he moved to Cairo to enroll in Egypt's prestigious Military Academy. He received additional military training in the Soviet Union at Moscow's Frunze Military Academy. He participated in both the Six-Day and October wars. In the mid-1980's, Suleiman earned additional degrees, including a bachelor's degree from Ain Shams University and a master's degree from Cairo University, both in political science. A fluent English speaker, Suleiman was transferred to military intelligence, where he worked on Egypt-United States relations.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Omar Suleiman."
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