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Egypt's interim government resigns

Egypt's interim prime minister says his cabinet has resigned.

Hazem el-Beblawi's military-backed government was sworn in on July 16, less than two weeks after the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi after a year in office.

The government's surprise resignation, announced by el-Beblawi in a live TV broadcast, comes amid a host of strikes, including one by public transport workers and rubbish collectors.

An acute shortage of cooking gas has also been making front page news the past few days.

It was not immediately clear who will replace el-Beblawi, who has been criticised for his perceived indecisiveness and inability to introduce effective remedies to the country's economic woes.

AP

The outgoing prime minister acknowledged the difficult conditions in which his Cabinet functioned, but suggested that Egypt was in a better place now that it was when he first took office.

"The cabinet has, in the last six or seven months, responsibly and dutifully shouldered a very difficult and delicate burden and I believe that, in most cases, we have achieved good results," he said.

"But like any endeavour, it cannot all be success but rather within the boundaries of what is humanly possible," el-Beblawi said.

The goal, he added, was to take Egypt out of a "narrow tunnel" brought about by security, political and economic pressures.

Commenting on the flurry of strikes, the outgoing prime minister cautioned Egyptians that this was not the time for making demands. "We must sacrifice our personal and workers' interests for the benefit of the nation."

AP

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