Egypt's foreign minister Mohammed al-Orabi resigned as Prime Minister Essam Sharaf named two deputies in the first steps towards a sweeping cabinet shuffle aimed at appeasing demonstrators. Sharaf is set to unveil a new cabinet by Monday that he hopes will end a week long sit-in in central Cairo.
The announcement of Orabi's resignation came hours after Sharaf appointed veteran economist Hazem Beblawi and Ali al-Silmi, a leader of the liberal Wafd party, as his deputies.
Orabi said he submitted his resignation "to spare the prime minister any embarrassment during the current negotiations on the ministerial changes," the state-run MENA news agency reported. Orabi had filled the post for less than a month, taking over from Nabil al-Arabi.
Despite the recent moves, hundreds of protesters who pitched tents in Tahrir Square stayed put, state media reported.