Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attended Police Day celebrations on Monday at the Police Academy in New Cairo.
The ceremony was attended by state officials and ministers, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, and Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb.
Accompanied by Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik, El-Sisi laid a wreath at the memorial of police martyrs.
Police Day commemorates resistance by Egyptian police to British occupation forces in Ismailia in 1952, which resulted in the death of dozens of police officers.
The president honoured the memory of a number of police victims who died on duty, presenting the national order to their families.
The honoured victims include police officer Mohamed El-Houfi, who was killed by terrorists during a police raid in Cairo’s Al-Amiriya district.
El-Sisi said at the ceremony that the 1952 Ismailia battle has “drawn an immortal painting in which the heroics of police and people were intertwined.”
He referred to the challenge of terrorism, saying it has become “an explicit tool to manage conflicts and execute schemes and conspiracies.”
The president thanked policemen for their ongoing efforts amid regional developments that destabilise nations and endanger national security.
He referred to the 25 January 2011 Revolution, which coincides with Egypt's Police Day, saying “it was led by faithful youth who have looked forward to a better future."
In January 2011, millions of Egyptian demonstrations flooded the streets to oust late president Hosni Mubarak, forcing him to step down on 11 February.
“I say to Egypt’s youth that your homeland is in need of your vigorous arms and sincere efforts to proceed in the path of reform, construction, and development,” El-Sisi said.
He urged Egyptian youth to contribute to “achieving the aspirations of all Egyptians for a bright future that secures for all citizens equal chances of a decent life.”
Concluding his speech, El-Sisi referred to the government's programme to develop 4,500 villages nationwide, saying the project will change the lives of 55 million people.
He affirmed the state’s commitment to work on finishing the project in three years.
At the ceremony, the interior minister stressed the ministry’s focus on facing terrorism in cooperation with the Armed Forces.
“Despite the success (in combating terrorism) that reflected on more security and stability in the region, the ministry is aware of the importance of continued security vigilance and the monitoring of terrorist organisations’ movements,” Tawfik said.
He added that terrorist groups exploit tensions and violence in the region to destabilise other African nations.
This is El-Sisi’s second visit to the Police Academy in a week. On Friday dawn, he inspected the academy's facilities and was briefed on cadets' training systems.
Egypt's Police Day is celebrated on 25 January and is a paid holiday for employees in the public and private sectors.
This year, employees will take Thursday 28 January off instead, following a decision by the premier to make Thursday a day off instead of any week-day holiday to "give citizens a chance to have a long weekend."