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Egypt's President Sisi praises 25 January revolution ahead of 5th anniversary

El-Sisi said that democracy takes time to develop so that the state can strike the right balance between security and the rights of the people

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Jan 2016
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on January 24, 2016 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi giving a televised address from the presidential palace in Cairo, on the eve of anniversary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising (Reuters)
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi praised the 25 January revolution during a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Despite a pro-state media rhetoric that largely vilifies the 18-day revolt that ended the 30-year rule of autocratic leader Mubarak, Sisi reiterated that the revolution was necessary to "revive the values that the country had lost for years". 

“We celebrate today the anniversary of the Egyptian people’s revolution where the country’s best youth paid with their lives to push for new blood in Egypt,” El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi said that the deviation of the revolutions goals came from people who tried to take credit for it themselves by taking advantage of the momentum to accomplish personal interests, rather from the people who started it.  

"The people who revolted for their freedom and dignity [on 25 January] corrected the path and vision on 30 June [2013]," El-Sisi said.

Although he didn’t mention the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood directly, the president criticised the group’s rule of the country, saying that since they were ousted from power, “Egypt has turned from a country that belongs to one group to a country for all.”

"The fair and objective assessment of what Egypt has accomplished in less than two years is that it turned from having an authority that was hostile to the people and the rest of state’s facilities, to an authority that now respects people's choices and aspirations," El-Sisi said.

He addressed the youth, describing them as the main element for the development of the country.

"If the Egyptian people are the weapon of the country to face challenges, you [the youth] are its ammunition," El-Sisi stated.

Parliament

Addressing MPs in a pre-recorded speech only a day after he expressed dissatisfaction with the parliament’s rejection of the civil service law, El-Sisi said the he will provide support to the House of Representatives.

"Your responsibility is huge…. Keep up your duties, and we'll provide our support and will offer a positive and free environment to work in a respectful framework- through the constitution and a division of power," El-Sisi said.

He added that democracy doesn't just “happen,” but needs time to solidify where the state can accomplish the needed coordination between rights and freedoms.

El-Sisi's speech commemorating the fifth anniversary comes only days after security forces were deployed to protect state institutions and vital facilities ahead of the anniversary on Monday.

Several calls for protests to mark the day have been made on social media, but it remains unclear whether they will materialise into demonstrations, which are illegal without prior police permission.

Government officials have warned citizens against protesting on the day.

In December, El-Sisi questioned the calls for protests.

"Do you wish to destroy your country and the people? Look at the countries whose names I do not wish to recall, they have been suffering for the past 30 years," El-Sisi said.

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