After bombing, Italy PM hails Egypt's Sisi as 'great leader'

AFP , Sunday 12 Jul 2015

Italy's prime minister has lauded Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, saying Egypt will only be 'saved' under his leadership

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (Photo: Reuters)

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has hailed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as "the only leader who can save Egypt," one day after a deadly car bomb attack on Rome's consulate in Cairo.

Renzi also vowed that Italy would not be "intimidated" by the attack which was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The car bomb which went off in the early hours of Saturday morning outside the consulate in downtown Cairo killed one civilian and injured ten others.

"I think El-Sisi is a great leader," Renzi said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television on Sunday.

"Let me be very frank. In this moment Egypt will be saved only with the leadership of El-Sisi," Renzi said in English.

"This is my personal position and I am proud of my friendship with him and I will support him in the direction of peace because the Mediterranean without Egypt will be absolutely a place without peace."

In a phone call on Saturday shortly after the attack, Renzi stressed the two countries will stand together "in the fight against terrorism and fanaticism."

The attack was the first on a foreign mission in Egypt since Islamist militants began a campaign against the country's security forces two years ago.

Asked by La Repubblica newspaper about possible reasons Italy was targeted, Renzi said he would not play a "guessing game."

"Attacks like this can have random aspects, to show the logistical ability to hit a Western nation," he told the paper.

"One thing is for sure, Italy must react with quiet steadfastness. We will not allow ourselves to be intimidated."

Renzi also told Al-Jazeera it was "absolutely important" for Egypt to ensure a free media and to enable journalists to work in safety.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

Short link: