Egypt’s Sisi accepts cabinet’s resignation

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi tasked oil minister Sharif Ismail with forming a new government

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Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Saturday tasked outgoing oil minister Sharif Ismail with forming a new government after the premier and his cabinet resigned, the presidency said.

"The prime minister (Ibrahim Mahlab) handed the government's resignation to the president who accepted," the statement said without giving a reason for the resignation.

Sisi told the cabinet to remain in a caretaker role until a new goverment was formed, the statement said.

The announcement comes almost one week after the authorities arrested Egypt's agriculture minister over corruption allegations.

A senior government official told AFP the reshuffle was intended to "pump new blood" into the government after it was rocked by the agriculture minister's corruption scandal, which led to his arrest Monday.

Egypt is fighting an Islamic insurgency and is struggling to rebuild its economy since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Mehleb was appointed prime minister last year after serving as minister of housing. He had been chairman of Arab Contractors, one of the region's largest construction companies.

Egypt is due to hold long-delayed parliamentary elections next month.

(with Reuters and AFP)