Middle East

Retired army general takes over key Cabinet post in Egypt

In this July 22, 2015, file photo, provided by the office of the Egyptian Presidency, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, and Defense Minister Sedqi Sobh, left, stand at attention, at the Air Defense Academy in Alexandria, Egypt. Maj-Gen. Mohammed Ali el-Sheikh, an Egyptian army general who retired about 18 months ago, has been named the country’s supply minister, a key posting that will oversee the distribution of subsidized basic food items. The appointment on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, underlines the military’s growing role in the running of the country since el-Sissi, himself a career soldier, took office in June 2014. (Mohammed Samaha/Egyptian Presidency via AP, File)

In this July 22, 2015, file photo, provided by the office of the Egyptian Presidency, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, and Defense Minister Sedqi Sobh, left, stand at attention, at the Air Defense Academy in Alexandria, Egypt. Maj-Gen. Mohammed Ali el-Sheikh, an Egyptian army general who retired about 18 months ago, has been named the country’s supply minister, a key posting that will oversee the distribution of subsidized basic food items. The appointment on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, underlines the military’s growing role in the running of the country since el-Sissi, himself a career soldier, took office in June 2014. (Mohammed Samaha/Egyptian Presidency via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

A retired Egyptian army general has been named the country's supply minister, a key post whose occupant will be tasked with ensuring availability and distribution of subsidized basic food items.

Tuesday's appointment of Maj-Gen. Mohammed Ali el-Sheikh, who retired about 18 months ago, underlines the military's growing role in the running of the country since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, himself a career soldier, took office in June 2014.

El-Sheikh replaces Khaled Hanafi, who quit last month amid corruption allegations.

Prior to his retirement from active service, el-Sheikh was in charge of the military's supply network, which oversees the distribution of food, water and fuel to all units. Following his retirement, he took over the military's department running outlets selling food items at discount prices.