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Profile: Egypt's interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei


08:36, July 10, 2013

CAIRO, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Previously a leading opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, was appointed Tuesday by Egypt's caretaker President Adli Mansour as vice president for foreign affairs in the transitional government, ending days of speculation about the selection for the post.

As one of the key players in Egypt's politics since his return to Egypt in 2010, the Nobel peace laureate and the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) joined the opposition forces against former President Hosni Mubarak.

Playing the role of a wise man during the "Jan. 25 revolution," a term used by most Egyptians to describe the political movement that eventually toppled Mubarak two years ago, ElBaradei opened channels with the revolutionary youth through social media. But he was then under attack from Islamist parties.

He withdrew his bid to run for the first post-Mubarak era president after citing concerns about the roadmap of the then ruling military council that insisted to hold the presidential election before drawing up a new constitution. According to the liberal politician, writing a new constitution should come first.

After the victory of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood ( MB) in the election, ElBaradei continued his struggle against the administration. He formed a new liberal Constitution party to run for the presidential election in 2016.

ElBaradei then became the coordinator of the National Salvation Front, the main alliance of liberal opposition parties, opposing the policies of Morsi and the MB. He was also one the major forces in the army's ousting of Morsi and in seeking a new roadmap for the country, and has defended the army's move as relaunching the " Jan. 25 revolution."

The political transition in Egypt, after the ouster of Islamist- oriented Morsi, stumbled in its first days, after the choice of ElBaradei as interim prime minister was opposed by Islamists.

Ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nour Party on Saturday rejected the appointment of ElBaradei, arguing it would deepen the state's "polarization," while the Freedom and Justice Party, the MB's political wing, also rejected the nomination.

ElBaradei, 71, obtained a degree in law from Cairo University in 1962, and holds a doctorate in international law from New York University's law school.

He began his diplomatic career in Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1964, and has worked in Egypt's permanent mission to the United Nations.

He served as director general of the IAEA from 1997 to 2009. His tenure was marked by high profile issues such as inspections in Iraq preceding the 2003 U.S. invasion and tensions over Iran's controversial nuclear program. He and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Socially, he is married and a father of two.

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