EGYPT - May 15 - Foreign Minister Appointed.
Pres. Mubarak names Ahmed Maher, 65, a former ambassador to Moscow
and Washington, as Foreign Minister in a surprise choice to replace Amr
Moussa, who is to take office as Sec.-Gen. of the Arab League on May 16
(see Arab Affairs). Salama Ahmed Salama, a columnist with the
semi-official Al Ahram newspaper says: "Not a lot will change. He
(Maher) belongs to the same school as Mr. Moussa. I think he is a highly
experienced pragmatist - but this is the same generation". (Maher
takes office at a critical moment in the Middle East, which is unsettled
by the collapse of peace talks and by Israeli-PA violence that has raged
for more than seven months. Maher was a member of the team that
negotiated the ground-breaking peace treaty with Israel in the Camp
David accords of 1979 and led to more than a decade of ostracism of
Egypt by the rest of the Arab world).