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Safwat Al Sharif (right). Image Credit: Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: Safwat Al Sharif, the former Egyptian Minister of Information, died on Wednesday after a long struggle with illness, at the age of 87, according to Egyptian media.

In recent days, there has been great debate about the health of Al Sharif, after TV talk show host Mohammad Al Baz announced that he had contracted COVID-19, and his condition deteriorated strongly, which was denied by Al Sharif’s son.

Over the past years, Al Sharif suffered from cancer, and his health was unstable until he died on Wednesday evening, after a long struggle with the disease.

Al Sharif was the former head of the Egyptian Shura Council and Secretary-General of the National Democratic Party, which was dissolved during the January 2011 events.

Al Sharif was born on December 19, 1933, and had a Bachelor of Military Sciences. He was one of the General Intelligence officers in the 1960s.

He was a founding member of the National Party in 1966, and held a number of positions within the party, most notably the Secretary-General for nearly 10 years, and held the position of Minister of Information, Speaker of the Shura Council, as well as chairman of the State Information Service.

Al Sharif was imprisoned after the late Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak stepped down in 2011 in a corruption case.