During participation in the 7th meeting of the ministers of defence of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) held in Nigeria from 20-22 June, Egypt has called for precautionary measures to be undertaken to prevent terrorism from reach community member states.
Cairo suggested activating mechanisms of cooperation and coordination between national institutions in these countries and at a regional level within the framework of comprehensive military and security cooperation against the threat of terrorism.
Egypt also warned of the consequences of terrorism infiltrating Sahel-Saharan states in light of rapid developments in the capabilities of terrorist organisations in training and arming, as well as technological advancements and funding sources.
The head of the Egyptian delegation in the meeting, Major General Mohamed Al-Keshki, assistant minister of defence for external relations, affirmed the possibility of terrorist organisations transfering their activities from their places of origin to the vicinity of Sahel-Saharan states, especially as conflict settling efforts in some stricken countries appear to be slow moving.
The head of the Egyptian delegation also announced doubling the military aid allocation presented to Sahel-Saharan states and inviting the general secretary of CEN-SAD to visit Egypt.
Al-Keshky affirmed Egypt is establishing a Sahel-Saharan counterterrorism headquarters in Cairo, adding that Egypt will host the annual Sahel-Saharan counterterrorism training effort, in light of Cairo's desire to enhance military cooperation between Sahel-Saharan states.
Al-Keshky also presented Egypt's vision on counterterrorism and the burden it has imposed on military and security institutions, in addition to the political challenges and obstacles that slow social and economic development.
The Egyptian representative referred to Egypt's efforts in peacekeeping in crisis stricken countries in Africa, being one of the countries contributing the most to peacekeeping forces, in light of Cairo's interest in preserving security and stability in the African continent.
CEN-SAD was established in February 1998 by six countries, but then its membership has since grown to 29. One of its main goals is to achieve economic unity through the implementation of the free movement of people and goods, the expanse encompassed by member states a free trade area.
Al-Keshky conveyed President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's praise for the efforts the Sahel-Saharan community states has exerted to maintain peace and stability in the region.
He also thanked Nigeria Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary-General of the Sahel-Saharan community Sany Abany and Nigeria’s Defence Minister Mansour Mohamed Dan for their hospitality.