Egypt president Mohamed Morsi has on Thursday taken a swipe at what he described as remnants of the Hosni Mubarak regime for trying to plunge the country into deep troubles as it struggles to recover from economic woes.
Morsi gave a speech at the Azhar Conference Hall in Cairo in celebration of the Mulid Al-Nabi (birth of Prophet Muhammad), during which he said “counter-revolution” forces are attempting to “undermine the [Egyptian] state.”
"The counter-revolution is being led by remnants of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime to obstruct everything in the country," he said, echoing similar sentiments from the influential Muslim Brotherhood group, which propelled him to power in last year’s presidential election.
Egypt is struggling to overcome an economic crisis that saw the Egyptian pound hit record lows against the U.S dollar, thanks to a political turbulence that shows no signs of easing off.
Morsi called on the Egyptian people to direct their efforts towards work and production and provide a “suitable environment for investment.”
“We will remove all the obstacles in the way of Egyptian, Arab and foreign investors to encourage them to work in Egypt,” he said, before calling on foreign-based Egyptians to invest in their country.
Morsi’s speech came one day before the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, which unseated autocratic leader Mubarak and helped Islamists take control of the country after decades of being oppressed under military strongmen.
Thousands of his opponents are expected to rally in Tahrir on Friday to demonstrate against what they perceive as his inability to deliver on his promises during his first six months in office.
“I hope all groups will remain peaceful during [the anniversary's] celebrations,” he added.
“The revolution was a turning point in Egypt's history. Egyptians have achieved unlimited freedoms and a constitution that reduced the president's powers.
“A structural reform is taking place in the state’s institutions to fulfil the revolution’s demands. I’m also working with the government to solve the problems of slum areas in Egypt.”
Morsi was criticised by his opponents for a number of lawsuits that were filed against journalists and television presenters for attacking him. He also came under fire for failing to fulfil his pledge of punishing those who were responsible of killing more than 800 protesters during the 2011 uprising.
“Fair retribution will take place. The report of the fact-finding committee that was submitted earlier in January is being investigated by the general prosecutor who should take the appropriate action to achieve justice,” he commented.
“No one will be harmed for their views and opinions,” he added in response to accusations that he is trying to stifle opposition.
Mali, Syria crises
Speaking about regional matters, Morsi reiterated that the Syrian regime must bow to the demands of its people, saying it has no future in the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 60,000 people have been killed since the eruption of a revolt against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.
Morsi also said he rejected the foreign intervention in the Mali crisis, saying it would have “serious repercussions” on the region.
“I will call upon the African summit at the end of January to tackle the situation and reach a political and developmental solution,” he added.