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Profile: Mohamed Hosni Mubarak

BY Admin  July 30, 1996 at 4:54 PM EDT

After attending local elementary and secondary schools, he enrolled in the national military academy. In 1965, Mubarak served as commmander of several air force bases and in 1967, was appointed commmander of the air force academy. Two years later, he was promoted to air force chief of staff a post he held until president Sadat named him in 1972, commander in chief of the air force and deputy minister of war.

In 1973, Mubarak became a hero of the 1973 Arab Israeli war and Mubarak was named vice president in 1975 and for the next six years, he served as Sadat’s confident and troubleshooter. In October 6, 1981, at a military parade commemorating the 1973 Egyptian victory at the Suez canal, Sadat was assassinated by a band of militant Islamic fundamentalists. The following day the ruling National Democratic party nominated Mubarak as its Presidential candidate and the Egyptian parliament approved his immediate succession to the office subject to confirmation by the voters. In the national election on october 13, in which he ran unopposed, Mubarak was accepted by more than 98% ofthe electorate.

Since then, Mubarak has promised the nation to deal ruthlessly with extremistswho threaten to overturn the government. To guarantee internal security, Mubarak has ordered the arrest and imprisonment of more than 2,500 people, most of them fundamentalists Muslims. Also Mubarak has to deal with a chaotic economy that threatens Egyptian society. Mubarak’s economic recovery program is designed to spur production of basic goods such as clothing, medicine…….He welcomes investments from foreign business groups and seeks increases in economic aid from foreign governments.He also encourages public debate on matters like birth control, food production…….He is also concerned with the ever widening gulf between the rich and poor.

He has been mending fences with Egypt’s Arab neighbours. Among other things, he has ordered the state controled press not to attack the policies of other Arab governments, and he has strengthened his close personal ties with other leaders.