El-Sisi: Army did not participate in operations beyond Egypt's borders

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Aug 2014

President El-Sisi denies foreign media reports that Egyptian armed forces units were deployed to Saudi Arabia, Libya; insists that parliamentary elections will be held on time

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi delivers a speech, during the anniversary of the 1952 Egyptian revolution, at the presidential palace in Cairo, July 23, 2014 (Photo: Handout provided by The Egyptian Presidency)

The Egyptian army has not participated in any strikes or operations beyond Egypt's borders, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told a group of Egyptian journalists and TV show hosts Saturday.

Denying all reports in the foreign media claiming that there were Egyptian armed forces units in Saudi Arabia or Libya, El-Sisi said the responsibility of the Egyptian armed forces was to defend Egypt's national security. "Our calculations are always connected to our national security," he said during the meeting held at the presidential palace.

The president tackled several points, including relations with Ethiopia, the upcoming parliamentary elections, as well as the electricity crisis in the country.

Relations with Ethiopia

"Egypt and its people support Ethiopia and its development projects, if in return those projects won't harm Egypt's interest," El-Sisi said, referencing the Grand Renaissance Dam crisis.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are due to have another round of talks regarding the Grand Renaissance Dam and its impact on the Egypt and Sudan in Khartoum 26 August.

Parliamentary elections

"I will do everything in order to have parliamentary elections on time," El-Sisi told his audience, insisting there will be no delays in the vote.

"The upcoming parliament will have a huge role and more powers according to the constitution, and neither the presidency nor the president will interfere in its work," El-Sisi said, adding that he hoped the youth would participate widely and have a large role in the vote.

It is expected that parliamentary elections will be held by the end of the year.

Muslim Brotherhood

Concerning political reconciliation in Egypt, President El-Sisi said it has been on the table since the 4 July declaration after the 30 June protests.

"We did not kill anyone, while the other party and its religious leaderships were looking to clash with the public. If they agreed on reconciliation and decided to participate in the roadmap, then there would have been no problems," El-Sisi said in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted 3 July 2013 amid mass popular protest against Muslim Brotherhood rule. The Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group in December while as its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which won a majority in the first parliamentary elections after the January 25 Revolution, was dissolved Saturday.

Short link: