Egypt's president Sisi calls for 'worldwide strategy to combat terrorism': Russian TV interview
Ahram Online, , Friday 28 Aug 2015
Speaking on Russian TV at the end of his three-day visit, El-Sisi talked about international military and economic cohesion

In an interview with Mikhail Gusman of the Russian new agency TASS which aired on Thursday on the Russia 24 TV channel, Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said "the world must come together to fight terrorism."

El-Sisi said he and Russian officials discussed many topics during his three day visit to Moscow which ended Thursday, including economic cooperaton between the two countries and the fight against terrorism.

“I find in His Excellency President Putin great understanding of the situation in the Middle East, and the dangers posed by terrorism and extremism and their impact on the security and stability of the region, which can affect the wider world,” El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi stressed that terrorism is the "most dangerous of all world threats," saying that countries can resolve their problems via international politics, while terrorists are not governed by any rules.

“The [terrorists] do anything they want,” he said. “So we all have to cooperate, not just the Middle Eastern countries, not just the countries of the US-led coalition against ISIS, not just the coalition in Yemen. We are talking about a strong block made up of the world's powers.”

El-Sisi said the fight against terrorism must operate not only on the military level, but must also involve using cultural and economic tools.

“Until now, the efforts of every country have been in vain. The matter requires a global strategy, not from individual countries but from the whole world," the Egyptian president said.

Speaking of growing military cooperation with Russia, El-Sisi stressed that Egypt needs to quickly acquire the capacity to defend itself.

“The danger for Egypt is bigger than for any other country, because Egypt's large population means a larger extent of damage," the president said.

"It has long been the case that the Egyptian army does not initiate aggression and does not enter into conspiracies. Our policy is based on harmony and mutual understanding, " El-Sisi said.

He added that a strong Egyptian economy can be brought about by cooperating with the wider world, and invited Russian and international investors to take financial interest in the Suez Canal development project. .

“Everyone thought that the Suez Canal project only consisted of developing the waterway, the dual canal and of ships passing through it,” he said. “But it was only one step on a long path to create the right conditions to build a strong economy."

"There is an industrial hub and we invite Russian companies to operate in it and the Russian government to establish projects there.”

He addressed Russian investors saying, “We will offer you all there is to be offered, along with all the world's investors, so that you can establish projects where Egyptians work and everyone can benefit from them.”

Gusman asked El-Sisi why he wore a military uniform at the new waterway’s inauguration ceremony on 6 August.

"It was of course symbolic, a sign of appreciation towards the institution that not only contributed to preventing civil war in Egypt but also contributes to the country's development."

“I had to say thank you for protecting your country and for building your country.”

El-Sisi said Egypt welcomed 3.5 million Russian tourists in 2014.

“The first thing a country which receives guests should do is offer them is stability and security. The guest or tourist comes so they can spend a nice time not to be scared or threatened."

He went on to say that Egypt is making a particular effort to secure touristic places like Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, in addition to developing more entertainment venues in them.

El-Sisi also talked about the prospects of Russian tourists using the ruble in Egypt.

"We are in talks with Russian officials about using accepting currency. We can negotiate this topic; it could be that they use the Egyptian currency and the Russian ruble, that way we avoid the issues involved in using the [American] dollar."