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Egyptian President Awards Medals To Dismissed Generals

Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi (center) speaks with Hussein Tantawi (left) and Sami Anan during a ceremony in Cairo on July 17.
Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi has conferred the nation's highest award on two top generals whom he sent into retirement.

State television showed Hussein Tantawi, the former defense minister, and Sami Anan, the former army chief of staff, receiving the medals from Morsi at a ceremony at the presidential palace in Cairo.

Tantawi, who served as Hosni Mubarak's defense minister for 20 years and then headed the military council that ruled Egypt after the former president was ousted last year, was shown saluting Morsi and smiling.

It was Tantawi and Anan's first public appearance since the surprise military shake-up on August 12.

The decision to send the two generals into retirement had sparked some speculation about a showdown between the Islamist president and the military.

On August 13, Morsi appointed the two generals as presidential advisers.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa