File photo of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Cairo. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday called on the international community to work towards curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction as well as combating terrorism during a meeting of a large Cold War-era bloc in Venezuela.
During his speech to the attendees of the 17th meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, El-Sisi urged for a global battle against terrorism that should not be "restricted to Islamic and developing communities."
He called in his address – that was delivered by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on his behalf -- for a concerted international effort to confront the phenomenon and identify "political solutions for the ongoing conflicts exploited by terrorists to seize lands and control nations."
El-Sisi described the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction as an "imminent danger to humanity" that cannot be condoned, saying Egypt won't accept the "fait accompli policy that some are trying to entrench."
He stressed on the right of non-nuclear states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, saying that Cairo "is taking steps toward building its first nuclear plant to generate electricity."
Set up in 1961, the Non-Aligned Movement offered an alternative power bloc for nations who did not support either the United States or Soviet Union during the Cold War. But the strength of the 120-nation bloc has weakened since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
El-Sisi slammed what he called attempts by some countries to interfere in political, economic and social affairs of other countries.
"Some [countries] have used human rights as a pretext to exert pressure…and interfere in internal affairs of states," he was quoted as saying in the speech published by the foreign ministry.
He also renewed his appeal to the international community to rise from "inaction and procrastination" and assume responsibility for backing the Palestinian people so that they can regain their "legitimate rights to establish an independent state," whose capital would be East Jerusalem.
The foreign ministry said in a separate statement that Egypt endorsed the movement's "Palestine declaration" that stressed on its full, steadfast support for the Palestinian issue and the right of its people.
The declaration condemned the "Israeli violations and illegal, provocative practices in the occupied territories" and the illegal expansion in settlement-building in the West Bank.