Egypt's new prime minister said on Tuesday he would seek to eradicate militant violence that has increased since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, hoping improved security will lead to economic recovery.
Speaking after his appointment by Adly Mansour, the army-appointed president who has been in office since Morsi's removal in July, Ibrahim Mahlab said he hoped to form his government within three or four days.
"We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country," said Mahlab, formerly the housing minister, expressing hope for a recovery in the crucial tourism sector.
"Security and stability in the entire country and crushing terrorism will pave the way for investment."
Mahlab's appointment followed the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's government on Monday.
Bombings and shootings by militant Islamist groups have become commonplace since the army deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule.
While most of the attacks have targeted the security forces, two South Korean tourists were killed in a Feb. 16 bomb attack on a tourist bus in the Sinai Peninsula.
Mahlab is a civil engineer who was formerly head of one of Egypt's biggest construction firms. He was also an official in deposed President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party.
He said his government would work to provide a secure climate for a presidential election that army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — defense minister in the last cabinet — is widely expected to win, though he has yet to formally declare his candidacy.
The choice of defense minister in the new government may hold clues as to when Sisi will announce his decision to run: he must vacate the post in order to contest the vote that could be held as soon as April.
But Mahlab offered no clues as to the choice of defense minister, saying the decision was up to President Mansour.