Egypt leader swears in new cabinet

Egypt's interim president has sworn in the first cabinet since the military ousted the Islamist president, giving members of the country's liberal movements key positions.

The cabinet also includes three women.

The new government is led by prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi, an economist. Army chief General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Mohammed Morsi on July 3, retains his post as defence minister and also took the position of first deputy prime minister, an additional title given to defence ministers in the past.

The Morsi-appointed interior minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, remains in his post, in charge of the police. Nabil Fahmy, who was Egypt's ambassador to the US from 1999 to 2008, becomes foreign minister.

Underlining the relatively liberal outlook of the new government, president Adly Mansour named three women in his cabinet, taking the powerful ministries of information and health as well as environment. The cabinet has 33 members, not including Mr el-Beblawi.

Most past governments for decades have had two women at most.

The cabinet does not include any figures from Islamist parties. The interim president's spokesman had said posts would be offered to Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, but the group refused, saying it would not participate in the military-backed political process and vowing to continue its protests demanding Mr Morsi's reinstatement.

Morsi supporters accuse the military of carrying out a coup that has destroyed Egypt's democracy.

In a first, Mr Mansour also swore in an icon of Egyptian football as youth minister. Midfielder Taher Abu Zeid starred in Cairo's el-Ahly club and the national side in the 1980s.