Cairo: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has appointed Hesham Qandil, a former water resources minister, as prime minister of the country and asked him to form the new government, reported Egyptian TV on Tuesday.

Qandil, a US educated engineer, has been dubbed "the first bearded Egyptian minister", with reference to his links with the Islamists.

Talks on formation of a cabinet have been underway for over a month. Experts say the main problem in forming a cabinet has been the technocrats' refusal to work with the Islamists who have recently come to power.

"My cabinet will comprise a balanced number of technocrats. Their professional skills will be taken into account while distributing the posts,"

Qandil told a press conference following his appointment.

The premier said he would discuss the potential candidates with President Morsi.

According to the Egyptian media , the new government will be almost exclusively made up of new members.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party, which nominated its former member Morsi for the presidential elections, has repeatedly said it would not take the key seats in the Cabinet, in particular the Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry.

It would rather give them to technocrat ministers.


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