Egypt hosting 5 mln refugees despite economic challenges: Sisi at G20

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Sep 2016

Sisi talked about a number of issues at the G20 Summit including coordinating efforts in combating terrorism and facilitating economic development in Africa

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in a speech on Monday during a session at the G20 Summit in China that Egypt is hosting five million refugees and immigrants despite facing economic challenges, adding that the root causes of the refugee crisis must be addressed.

El-Sisi also talked about a number of other issues at the G20 Summit, where Egypt is a guest of honour, including coordinating efforts in combating terrorism and facilitating economic development in Africa.

The G20 members, who account for 85 percent of the world economy and two-thirds of its population, agreed at the summit that refugees of violent conflicts represent a global issue and that the burden must be shared, the G20 leaders declared in a joint communiqué on Monday at the end of the two-day summit.

El-Sisi said in his speech that to resolve refugee crises, the root causes must be addressed, including resolving armed conflicts and poor economic situations by providing job opportunities.

El-Sisi highlighted that Egypt is actively participating in international forums to develop international frameworks on dealing with immigrants and refugees and their protection.

El-Sisi also warned that terrorism is the biggest threat hindering the stability of the global economy and sustainable development for countries around the world.

"Egypt has accomplished great success in countering terrorism by the people's support," the president said.

He also stressed the importance of dealing firmly with the actors who are politically, financially and militarily supporting terrorist groups.

The president also called on the top economic forum to draft a mechanism to counter terrorism, stating that Egypt would be the first to support this mechanism by contributing its expertise.

Africa, climate and economic development

El-Sisi also said that the development of the Suez Canal would boost Africa's manufacturing and exporting capabilities.

“Egypt is keen to deliver the voice of Africa at the G20 summit,” the president had said in an August interview with Egypt's three major publicly-owned newspapers.

He pointed out that Egypt is working to complete a land route between Cairo and Cape Town.

This route is planned to pass through a number of African capitals, as well as link Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean shipping routes, contributing to the integration the African and global economies.

El-Sisi, who is the head of the chairman of the African leaders on Climate Change, noted that Africa is the lowest producer of harmful emissions, yet the most harmed by them.

He added the continent played its part by having a unified African position at the Paris Climate Accord last December. 

He also stressed the importance of reaching a clear agreement on the activation of the climate accord and its full implementation in Marrakesh.

El-Sisi also called on the G20 to give the necessary support to the African initiative on renewable energy launched by Egypt.

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