Islamist Egyptian governor of Luxor resigns

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Egypt’s new governor of Luxor province, Adel el-Khayat, announced his resignation on Sunday, following violent protests against his appointment.

“We will not accept that one drop of blood be spilt because of a position that I did not personally aspire to at any time,” said Khayat at a news conference, as quoted by Reuters.

Khayat is a founding member of Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, which was responsible for the murder of 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians in 1997.

Safwat Abdel-Ghani, head of the political bureau of Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiya's Construction and Development Party, said President Mohammad Mursi did not consult the group before appointing Khayat. “If it were consulted we would not have approved the appointment,” he told Egypt's Al-Mehwar TV.

Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya made an ideological U-turn denouncing violence following the 2011 revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. It formed the Construction and Development Party and won 13 seats in the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou stepped down last week in protest against Khayat’s appointment. In a similar move, Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers threatened mass resignations and several tourism companies also cancelled their winter trips to Luxor in protest.

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