Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the world Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh (Photo courtesy if the Egyptian presidency spokesman official Facebook page)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Sunday that the developments in the Libya have harmed Egypt, and that hundreds of thousands of Egyptian youth working in Libya have returned to Egypt due to the conflict in the neighbouring country.
The president made the comments on the second day of the World Youth Forum, the 3rd edition of which is being held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
"However, we continued with our unprecedented infrastructure programme, which has lifted Egypt to another level of development, and all the countries asked how we were able do it in five years" El-Sisi said during the forum's session titled ‘Ways to Boost Cooperation Between the Countries of the Mediterranean in the Face of Common Challenges.’
"Libya is a transit point for illegal immigration; our national security is tied to Libya. We could have intervened, but we respected the situation in Libya," he said.
During the session, the Egyptian president also tackled several issues including illegal immigration and the situations in Syria and Lebanon.
"Immigration has many reasons, including terrorism, but there are other reasons like the desertification, which forces people to internally migrate," he said.
The Egyptian president also spoke about the importance of respecting differences and diversity, saying that "no one should say that their values and practices are the best. We are different in how we receive and apply reforms, we are different in the levels of sophistication, no one should impose change," he said.
Concerning Syria, El-Sisi stated that instead of wasting time, the focus should be on restoring stability the country.
"Millions of Syrian refugees in all countries will return to Syria, let the people live," he said.
Concerning Lebanon, the Egyptian president warned of escalation in the country’s political situation.
"What happened in Lebanon was the result of a certain situation, and if [the situation in Lebanon] escalates, the crisis will not just be in Syria, but also in Lebanon, and it will be a bigger problem," he said.
During the session, the president demanded the restoration of the "nation-state" in the Arab world and the restoration of countries that have lost their “national sovereignty.”
"The national armies are responsible for stability and security inside their countries, the only country that survived in the region was Egypt because of its army," El-Sisi said.