Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the annual Egyptian Family Iftar event in Cairo on Sunday (Photo: Egyptian presidency)
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi refuted on Sunday evening rumors on the so-called "deal of the century."
Addressing the annual Egyptian Family Iftar banquet in the holy month of Ramadan, President El-Sisi said said that no one can impose a situation on the Palestinians against their desires and wishes.
"We, in Egypt, do not talk on behalf of the Palestinians about a matter which would not satisfy them," the president asserted.
The region is currently witnessing one of the most difficult situations, but Egypt is safe thanks to Allah and the Armed Forces, the president pointed out.
Addressing his comments to the Egyptian people, El-Sisi asked: "People wonder what is the story, what does Sisi intend to do, and is he going to give something to someone!"
The president answered: "Nobody can do anything that you do not want done. Can you imagine that I would ever let go [of our rights]. Why would I do that! We are honest and honorable! Nobody can do anything without you. Nobody can divide us."
Addressing the citizens from Sinai who attended the Iftar, El-Sisi said "You would never give up anything to anyone!"
On domestic issues
The president said it is only appropriate to include the families of the martyrs of the armed forces and police who sacrificed their lives for the country in tonight's events.
In his speech, the Egyptian president spoke about the current development projects in Sinai, saying that Egypt had spent EGP 400 billion on infrastructure projects to improve living standards in the peninsula.
He described the development of the region as “a miracle.”
The development plan includes building new roads, constructing desalination plants and factories, carrying out land reclamation and setting up educational institutions, the president added.
He also spoke about other development projects in Egypt, including in Luxor and Cairo.
Regarding rumours about Luxor's Kebash Road, the president said the government had allocated a large sum of money to develop the road.
He said that the village encroaches on archaeological lands, adding that its residents will be compensated.
Speaking about the health sector, the president hailed positive initiatives launched by the government in the sector over the past 18 months, saying they were widely acclaimed by different international health institutions.
He announced the government would start implementing a comprehensive health insurance programme in five governorates.
This unique programme is aimed at enhancing health care services for citizens, the president added.
Around 51 million citizens have been screened for hepatitis C virus and non-communicable diseases, the president noted.
The president also called for testing of newborn babies to make sure they are not in need of cochlear implants.
With regard to an initiative to end patient waiting lists, the president said around 200,000 patients have undergone urgent surgeries at hospitals, adding that the state seeks to provide the best health care services for all citizens.
He pointed to the government's administrative reform plan, especially in the New Administrative Capital, adding that there is a new programme to develop the state's administrative apparatus in accordance with scientific studies.
Moving to education, he said that reforming the country's education requires tremendous efforts, costs, and preparations to achieve a better future.
He urged parents and students to trust in efforts exerted by the Egyptian state to develop the educational system.
"Over the past 50 years, the educational system has produced graduates who only sought to be employed without any motivation for development," El-Sisi said.
The president said that thousands of schools need modernisation, stressing the current pace of reform by the education ministry will lead to a better level, but needs more time.
Speaking about the economy, the president thanked the Egyptian people for bearing the heavy burden of the reforms implemented over the past eight years.
"Egypt will remain strong and make progress as long as Egyptians are united to overcome this difficult phase of economic reforms and achieve all their aspirations," he said.
The president added that he always bet on the awareness of the Egyptians and their understanding of the facts, pointing out that the Egyptian people managed to go through all obstacles and challenges.