Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Wednesday that failing to reach a fair resolution to the Palestinian issue is one of the reasons behind the spread of extremism in the region, state news agency MENA reported.
During his meeting with Lebanese officials, El-Sisi said that the Palestinian cause has gone on for decades without establishing a sovereign Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.
The president added that this "provides excuses for those who feign religiosity and for terrorists."
El-Sisi said religion may be used to manipulate people and spread extremist ideologies which in-turn leads to violence and terrorism.
Taking office in June, nearly a year after the ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi, El-Sisi has repeatedly mentioned what he views as inaccurate interpretations of religion and the use of religion by groups as a means to power.
He added Wednesday that despite the fact that different religious sects can provide a rich intellectual and religious environment, others create divisions, MENA reported.
A wave of militant attacks hit Egypt following the army’s popularly backed ouster of Morsi in July of 2013. Militant Islamist group IS has also claimed control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq.
El-Sisi said in a meeting with a US congress delegation on Tuesday that Western states must back "moderate" nations in the region economically in the fight against terrorism.