Egypt's president awards medals to sacked generals

Aug 14, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT
Newly-appointed Egyptian Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left, meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. President Mohammed Morsi’s shake-up of the military on Sunday Aug. 12, 2012 took the nation by surprise but it has transformed his image overnight from a weak leader to a savvy politician who carefully timed his move against generals who stripped him of significant powers days before he took office on June 30.
(AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's president has given awards to the nation's two top military commanders, two days after he ordered their retirement.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who ruled Egypt through his military council for 17 months after last year's popular uprising overthrew longtime President Hosni Mubarak, and his chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, made their first public appearance to receive the nation's highest medal.

President Mohammed Morsi, who ordered the two to leave their posts and take positions on his advisory council instead, presented the awards.

His decision Sunday stunned the nation. It followed a power struggle between the Islamist president and the powerful military, which indirectly ruled the nation for six decades.

After awarding them the Nile Medal, Morsi met with Tantawi and Anan.