CAIRO: Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou denied in a Friday statement an earlier report he would resign in January.
In statements to Al-Ahram Friday, he said he had no inclination to resign right now, and his earlier statements were taken out of context.
“I have no intentions to leave the government anytime soon, until I’m asked otherwise,” Zaazou said.
On Friday, Youm7 reported Zaazou told the publication he would issue his resignation to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab by the end of January, as he received another offer from the Arab Tourism Ministerial Council affiliated with the Arab League. That position, according to Youm7, would have had Zaazou implementing an Arab tourism strategy for the next three years as a “tourism expert.”
Youm7 added that Zaazou had already been chosen for the position last year in Bahrain, but there was not enough funding for the project at that time.
“This position isn’t inconsistent with my current position as a minister, however, I’m honored serving my country at this time,” Zaazou told Al-Ahram. He said he only said the Arab League position lacked funding, and that “from his own perspective, the issue may be resolved by January.” He added that he is continuing in his current position until the whole government resigns shortly after upcoming parliamentary elections.
The minister further said during a phone call with Mehwar TV Friday night that according to the law, the whole Cabinet should resign following parliamentary elections. “I will not issue my resignation for a personal position or benefit,” he added.
Zaazou is originally a businessman who started serving as the minister of tourism in 2012 during former Prime Minister Hisham Qandil’s Cabinet under the presidency of Mohamed Morsi.