Sisi: Participation of 30 million Egyptians in elections is not enough
Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The participation of 30 million Egyptians in the elections is not enough, all Egyptians must participate in the elections, presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said in an interview conducted by Al-Arabya Al-Hadath Channel Wednesday.

Sisi discussed Egyptian relations with European countries, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Gulf countries.

The relation with Western countries will return to normal except when millions of Egyptians participate in the elections, Sisi said.

Sisi said what is happening in Libya is not the downfall of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime but the downfall of the country itself. He said saying the Western countries are responsible for that since the weapons should have been collected and confiscated.

“All Libya’s weapon and ammunition are in the desert and has been smuggled into Egypt,” he said and that Libya attracts extremists that will affect Egypt’s security and their neighboring countries.

Sisi spoke about the Syrian war and that the most dangerous thing they are currently facing if Syrian’s division. The Syrian crisis must be resolved politically and peacefully.

Regarding the protest law and its need to regulate the protests, Sisi said “take a look at some countries, not only the Arab countries, and see what [protesting] leads to.”

Since the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, the state in Sinai has not been stable and several police and armed forces were killed.

“Egypt did not face security challenges in its history like we are facing now and Sinai includes terroristic and extremist people due to its desert environment … It has active and dangerous hotbeds … We have been working on it for 10 months,” Sisi added.

Egypt is one of the countries who sacrificed most to support the Palestinian case and that will not change, Sisi said adding that any efforts exerted to contribute in unifying the Palestinians, Egypt will support it because it is the case of all Arabs.

There has tension between Iran and Egypt for about ten years, former Iranian President Ahmady Nigad visited Egypt for the first time during ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s rule. During Nigad’s visit, he raised the victory sign, which was criticized by many prominent figures as a “provoking sign.”

Sisi said the future of Egypt and Iran’s relations will be through the Gulf countries, adding that Egypt will not allow anyone to affect the Gulf regional security. “We have the right to protect our interests and Iran has the right to be anxious about their interests.”

The relations with most European countries have been unstable and under tension since Morsi’s ousting on July 3, 2013.

Sisi said that the U.S. is gradually recognizing that what happened in Egypt was the people’s will and “they should see through Egyptian eyes to live our reality before judging us.” He said the E.U. understood what is happening in Egypt faster than the U.S.

“We are creating respectable and stable relations with everybody and the relationship with Russia is not at the expense of other countries,” Sisi added.

There have been ongoing debates between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam project, which is a heightening concern for the future relations between both countries.

Egyptian experts said the Dam poses clear threats to water security while Ethiopian experts have been insisting that Egypt’s hard-line position lacks consideration for other countries and comes at the expense of Ethiopia’s right to development.

Sisi said the crisis needs efforts to find a way to settle this dispute between both countries, adding that people must admit that they neglected the file for a long time.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty refused to comment on Sisi’s statements about the Renaissance Dam on Thursday press conference, saying that the Foreign Ministry is a national institute that participates in making political foreign affairs. “I will not comment on the statements of the presidential candidates,” Abdel Atty said, according to Youm7.

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