|A handout picture from Middle East News Agency (MENA) shows Egyptian military chief of staff, Gen. Sedki Sobhi (2nd, R), shaking hands with Egypt's Interim President Adli Mansour (1st, R) in Cairo, Egypt, March 27, 2014. Egyptian military chief of staff, Gen. Sedki Sobhi, took oath of office on Thursday as the country's new defense minister to succeed his predecessor Abdel-Fattah al- Sisi, who resigned to run for president, the Egyptian state TV reported. (Xinhua/MENA)
CAIRO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian military chief of staff Gen. Sedki Sobhi took oath of office on Thursday as the country's new defense minister to succeed his predecessor Abdel-Fattah al- Sisi who resigned to run for president, the state TV reported.
Interim President Adli Mansour promoted Sobhi on Wednesday from lieutenant general to the higher rank of general, a preparatory step for the chief of staff to replace Sisi as defense minister.
Sisi declared his widely-anticipated candidacy in a campaign- style televised speech on Wednesday, vowing to fight for an Egypt "free of terrorism" and promising to build a "democratic and modern" country.
Egypt's newly-approved constitution allows only civilians to run for president, which required Sisi to give up the military post to join the presidential race.
Sobhi attended his first cabinet meeting on Thursday right after taking oath before the interim president.
Meanwhile, Mansour issued a presidential decree promoting Major General Mahmoud Hegazy to the higher rank of lieutenant general and appointed him as new military chief of staff to replace Sobhi.
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