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Former Egyptian foreign minister dies at 75.

CAIRO: Ahmed Maher Ahmed Maher (Arabic: احمد ماهر ) (born September 14 th 1935) was the foreign minister of Egypt from 2001 until 2004. He studied law at Cairo University, served as a junior diplomat in Africa and is generally considered an 'outsider' , Egypt's former foreign minister known for his low-key diplomacy, died Monday, the state-owned news agency said. He was 75.

Egypt's MENA news agency said Maher died Monday morning, just hours after he was hospitalized with unspecified health problems.

Maher served as foreign minister from 2001 until 2004. He was called back from retirement for that post in 2001 to replace Amr Moussa, who became head of the Arab League.

In 2003, after he prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Maher was heckled by a group of angry Palestinians outside the mosque who were protesting his visit to Israel. The protesters called him a traitor and threw shoes at him, a deep insult in the Muslim world The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Muslims, adherents of Islam. This community numbers about 1.5-2 billion people, about one-fourth of the world. .

He wasn't seriously injured but the episode underscored heightened tensions surrounding efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Later, Maher said he was shaken by the assault but recalled it without bitterness.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit Ahmed Aboul Gheit (Arabic: أحمد أبو الغيط ) (born June 12 1942 in Heliopolis) has served as the Foreign Minister of Egypt since July 2004, since the government of Ahmed Nazif took office.  praised Maher as "an efficient diplomat who endeavored to serve Egypt."

The soft-spoken Maher made a stark contrast to Moussa, who made a name for himself among Arabs for his anti-Israel rhetoric.

However, Maher's proponents say he always meant what he said, citing that he once told a newspaper that "honesty is the best policy."

In July, President Hosni Mubarak Noun 1. Hosni Mubarak - Egyptian statesman who became president in 1981 after Sadat was assassinated (born in 1929)
 named him a member of the parliament's upper house, or Shoura Council, where the president appoints a third of the seats.

Maher spent his final years writing and lecturing in foreign policy. He is survived by his wife.

Mubarak led a state funeral for Maher, who was buried after Monday's midday prayers at a Cairo cemetery.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Sep 27, 2010
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