Egypt's Sisi covers foreign affairs, development and counterterrorism during 3rd day of 'Story of a Nation' event

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Jan 2018

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at Story of a Nation event on Thursday (Photo:Egyptian presidency)

On the third and final day of the Story of a Nation event, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi continued with his presentation of a balance sheet of his administration’s achievements over the past four years, covering foreign affairs, development and counterterrorism.

The Story of a Nation event, which started on Wednesday and is set to end on Friday evening, is being held at Cairo Masa Hotel under the auspices of the president.

El-Sisi said that EGP 250 billion worth of developments have been implemented in Sinai.

On the war against terrorism, the president said that the state has not destroyed any houses in North Sinai from where shots have been fired at security forces, and that “if someone falls by mistake, we compensate, even though there can be no compensation for a life."

Egypt has been fighting for several years against Islamist terrorism in North Sinai, where hundreds of security personnel have been killed in terrorist attacks.

El-Sisi said that El-Arish Airport must be operational and that “the state should return to Sinai,” adding that a “safe zone” will be established around the airport, addressing the residents of Sinai by saying "you will help us, or you will help us."

The president added that although he understands what “our families” in Sinai have had to face under the war against terrorism, “what can we do? We have to use brute force."

El-Sisi also said that the state is currently providing aid to 13,000 citizens who have been injured in terrorist attacks.

On foreign relations, the president said that Egypt had suffered isolation – referring to the suspension of the country’s membership in the African Union after the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 – and that "we needed to restore our role in Africa and resume our relations with Europe; this was the people's will."

El-Sisi added that Egypt had witnessed “interference by outside organisations” during the period from 2011 to 2013, adding that preserving the state has been one of his most important targets.

He also said that Egypt’s military capabilities are not what they were five years ago, though he stressed that this is “not to threaten anyone, but to preserve peace."

On the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, over which Egypt and Ethiopia have experienced tensions, the president said that the East African country is entitled to development and electricity, “but our share of water will not be touched.”

On the domestic front, El-Sisi said that any accusations of inefficiency directed at parliament, which was put into place through free elections, is "improper."

The president also stressed the importance of having stable state institutions, which were almost lost during recent revolutions.

"State institutions, if destroyed, cannot be rebuilt," the president said. 

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