Factbox - Omar Suleiman, new Egyptian vice-president

CAIRO Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:45am EST

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has not had a vice-president since he took office in 1981, appointed his intelligence chief and confidant Omar Suleiman to the post on Saturday, the official news agency said.

Vice-president is the post that Mubarak occupied before he was promoted to the presidency following the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat.

Here are five facts about Omar Suleiman:

* He has been the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services (EGIS) since 1993, a role in which he has played a prominent public role in diplomacy, including in Egypt's relations with Israel and with key aid donor the United States.

* He was born on July 2, 1936 in Qena, in southern Egypt. He later enrolled in Egypt's premier Military Academy in 1954, after which he received additional military training in the then Soviet Union at Moscow's Frunze Military Academy.

* He also studied political science at Cairo University and Ain Shams University. In 1992 he headed the General Operations Authority in the Armed Forces and then became the director of the military intelligence unit before taking over EGIS.

* Suleiman took part in the war in Yemen in 1962 and the 1967 and 1973 wars against Israel.

* As Egypt's intelligence chief, Suleiman was in charge of the country's most important political security files, and was the mastermind behind the fragmentation of Islamist groups who led the uprising against the state in the 1990s.

(Writing by Dina Zayed; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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