Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi opened on Wednesday the largest military base in the Red Sea as training drills that began last week concluded, a presidential spokesman said.
Located on the Red Sea coast near the country's southern frontier, the advanced Barnis base is aimed at "securing the country's southern coasts, protecting economic investments and natural resources and facing security threats in the Red Sea," spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
The base, home to land, air and naval forces, is also designed to secure global navigation extending from the Red Sea to the Suez Canal and associated economic areas, the statement continued.
President El-Sisi attended the conclusion of the Northern Military Region's Kader manoeuvres which involved air and naval forces in a ceremony attended by Arab and foreign leaders, including Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Saudi Vice Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
The 155-acre base houses naval and air bases, a military hospital and a number of combat and administrative units as well as shooting and training fields for all kind of weapons. It also includes an international airport, a seawater desalination plant and container storage yards.
"The Barnis base was established in a record time within a few months to be one of the Egyptian military fortresses on the strategic south with a striking military force striking in the land, sea and air to tackle regional and international developments, which strengthens the global classification of the Egyptian Armed Forces among world armies," the statement added.
In 2017, El-Sisi inaugurated the Mohamed Naguib Military Base, located in Al-Hammam area, west of Alexandria, which is the largest in the Middle East and Africa.