CAIRO, June 20 (UPI) -- Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf appointed Mohammed el-Orabi as the country's acting foreign minister, officials said.
El-Orabi, 60, a former deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, will replace Dr. Nabil el-Arabi, who was appointed secretary-general of the Arab League, Ahram Online said Monday.
In a statement following his appointment, el-Orabi said he planned to focus on boosting ties between Arab and African countries, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA said.
The newly appointed minister said he would also focus on cultural and developmental elements of the country's foreign policy.
He said the United States and European Union are essential partners to Egypt.
"He has a very easygoing way of making subtle suggestions -- a way that does not come across as too firm. Many people like this about him and he does not like confrontations. He argues with patience," a longtime colleague told Ahram Online.