Egypt interim government resigns unexpectedly

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Addis Ababa, 25 February 2014 (WIC) - Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has unexpectedly announced the resignation of his government, BBC reported.

Mr Beblawi said the decision was taken "in light of the current situation the country is going through".

Mr Beblawi was appointed in July after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi following mass protests.

Mr Beblawi did not give a clear reason for the cabinet's resignation in his televised address.

He acknowledged that Egypt had witnessed a sharp rise in strikes, but said no government in the world could have fulfilled all the demands of its people in such a short period of time.

"The cabinet has over the past six or seven months shouldered a very difficult responsibility... in most cases the results were good."

"The country is facing huge dangers. It is time we stood together to protect it and help it get out of this narrow tunnel," he added.

"This is neither the time for demands by public workers nor the time for personal interests, but the time for us to put our country's interests above all others."

Government spokesman Hani Saleh told the AFP news agency that there was a "feeling that new blood is needed".

"Egypt is moving forward. This decision will not affect foreign relations or internal stability," he added.

The cabinet's decision to submit its resignation to interim President Adly Mansour was made after a 30-minute meeting on Monday attended by Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, defence minister and first deputy prime minister.

The field marshal is widely expected to announce soon that he will step down from both posts and run for president.

According to the new constitution approved in January, an election must take place by mid-April.