File photo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (File Photo: AP)
Egypt’s foreign affairs minister Sameh Shoukry said in a Thursday interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that extremist and terrorist groups view Egypt as a “grand prize.”
Minister Sameh Shoukry told DPA during a two-day visit to Berlin that “Egypt and its people have always been targeted by terrorist group in an attempt to divert [the country] from its [right] path, which would never happen.”
“Egypt has always been a beacon for culture and thought in the Middle East, which is something that terrorists aim to destroy,” Shoukry stated.
“Egypt is fighting terrorism to protect the world as well as maintain security and stability in the region and on the international level.”
On Syria, Shoukry said Egypt would not get involved in any military intervention in that country, dismissing claims that any such intervention could solve the Syrian crisis.
He stated that Egypt maintains the same stance it adopted over two years ago that “honourable, trusted” Syrians should be tasked with building the country’s future.
“I believe that if many [concerned] parties listened to the wise stance we adopted at that time, Syria would have been spared much of the destruction, and casualties would have been less,” Shoukry stated.
He added that the international community is responsible for half-a-million civilian deaths for failing to contain this crisis.
On rumoured tensions between Saudi Arabia and Egypt over Egypt’s position on the crises in Yemen and Syria, Shoukry said the relationship between Cairo and Riyadh is built on mutual respect and benefits and a consensus exists between the visions of the two countries.
“Egypt has an unwavering approach towards Syria, there is coordination and consultation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia regarding this issue,” Shoukry stated.
Shoukry added that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are partners in the Saudi-led coalition for supporting legitimate rule in Yemen and they both seek a political resolution to the conflict.