Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said a government reshuffle will take place “very soon” and that he expects greater cooperation with the administration of US president-elect Donald Trump.
The president made his remarks during his interview with the editor-in-chiefs of the country’s state-owned papers.
In response to a question about an upcoming government shakeup, El-Sisi said “yes, there will be a reshuffle very soon.”
On Egypt’s international relations, El-Sisi said “there will be greater understanding and deeper cooperation” with the administration of US president-elect Donald Trump, mainly in counter-terrorism efforts.
He said the country is succeeding in its three-and-a-half-year-long war against terrorism, adding that the number of militants has significantly diminished.
“Our confrontation is advanced and is adapting to the changes in the terrorist group’s methods… the size of [terrorism] now cannot be compared with what existed two-and-half-years ago when armed [militants] numbered into the thousands.”
A militant insurgency, mainly concentrated in parts of North Sinai, has killed hundreds of police and military personnel in recent years.
El-Sisi added that Egypt’s “fierce war against terrorism is worse than traditional war,” stressing that there is not enough of a media blitz that is necessary in times of war.
On detained youths, El-Sisi said a committee tasked with reviewing the cases of detained youths was due to send a second list of those to gain a presidential pardon on Monday.
In November, El-Sisi pardoned 82 prisoners, mainly university students jailed for illegally protesting.
El-Sisi also called on Egyptians to use family planning to help in reducing population growth which he says poses a "huge burden" and does not allow people to feel the "fruits of development."
From 2006 to 2016, Egypt's population rose by 17.3 million, according to the official statistics body CAPMAS.
In July, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail similarly warned of the current rate of population increase, saying it hinders the country's development plans.
The president further complained that the government should not be judged by prices alone, referring to the rise in inflation rates that accompanied an economic reform plan that Egypt embarked on in 2014.
El-Sisi added that the government's work should be judged by its "huge responsibilities and the difficulty of its task."
Egypt has been undertaking an economic reform plan that has involved introducing a number of fiscal reforms, including fuel subsidy cuts as well as imposing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit.
In November, Egypt's central bank freely floated the pound and raised key interest rates as part of the set of reforms aimed at alleviating a dollar shortage and stabilising the country's flagging economy.
Egypt’s economic growth rate registered 4.3 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2015/16, down from 4.4 percent the previous year.