CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi addressed the Egyptian nation in a speech from al-Qubba palace his swear in, starting by saluting citizens, police, and armed forces martyrs.
He also thanked former interim President Adly Mansour for helping achieve two of the roadmap steps. Sisi will respect the executive authority according to the constitution and added that he will achieve the third step of the roadmap according to its scheduled timetable.
He will respect the oath he made to Egyptians by respecting the constitution and the law, to preserve democracy and respect Egyptian people’s dignity. He emphasized that Egypt is a civil state and its constitution is civil.
He said all Egyptians are equal in their duties and their rights and there will be no exclusion of any Egyptian. He said the June 30 revolution reignited the January 25 Revolution that was about to be lost.
He said the Egyptians know the meaning of democracy, which was expressed through the presidential elections voting process. Sisi believes he needs to be responsible and prove that he is worth the Egyptians’ trust in him.
Sisi said being president puts him in the position to make a social contract with the people, meaning he will have to be clear about every issue. He ran for president because people chose him and he will not betray the people’s trust with false, fancy promises.
He said the two revolutions indicate that Egypt shall be a strong nation and not a violent one and that Egypt will not use its power against anyone without reason. Egypt’s power will fight “terrorism” establish a strong economy that relies on direct and indirect investments without harming the poor and those of limited income.
Sisi said Egypt has gone through very hard times before June 30, when religion was misused. Polarization and misusing power was intensely present so Egypt needs to learn from previous mistakes.
He said Egypt faced bad economic situations, large budget deficit, large internal and external debts, unemployment, stopped tourism, among other economic problems. He added that Egypt’s national security is threatened based to “catastrophic social conditions.”
He also addressed Takfiri polarization being ignored completely without considering the impact of this over Egypt and its people. He appreciates the people’s trust in him and admits that people’s appreciation was because of his attitude and for being part of the military apparatus that is patriotic.
Sisi said the armed forces leaned towards the people’s stance and helped them through the January 25 Revolution and the June 30 demonstration. He never wanted to be in charge and started his career being part of the armed forces institution, which taught him the meaning of patriotism.
“We will build our country on the basis of social justice and human dignity that provide us with freedom and prosperous life,” Sisi said. He cited the unity of the state and the people as the reason for the success of Egyptians for the second time to stand against severe obstacles.
“I am aware of the long history suffering political exclusion and economic crisis, the lack of social justice and equal opportunities,” Sisi said. It is not rational to promise the citizens to put an end to all those problems once he is sworn in as president, although he will spare no effort to improve the livings of the people.
Sisi is looking forward for a new era of conciliation with the past and tolerance with all the opponents except those who violated the law by committing violent acts. He will not hesitate confronting violence or facing those elements that threaten the prestige of the state.
“The near future will witness the return of a prestigious Egyptian state, coinciding with great efforts to achieve our goals and aspirations,” Sisi said.
He stated that achieving a comprehensive development in different fields requires a suitable security situation to reassure businessmen, attract foreign investments, and encourage tourism. He referred that the major priority in the upcoming period is to restore security in streets and fight terrorism. “We seek to improve the security system and the performance of policemen at different security agencies,” Sisi added.
“Industrial and agricultural development are the two major elements of economic growth,” Sisi said and that both fields would complement each other positively.
As for the industry, Sisi wants to motivate the industrial sector and increase job opportunities for the youth by encouraging investors to invest in labor-intensive industries. The state should amend the legislative system to ease the procedures of granting required lands and licenses to build factories.
For mineral resources, Sisi revealed that “we will gradually stop exporting raw materials that must be processed and manufactured to increase the added value.”
“As for the energy crisis, we will resort to waste recycling and use it to generate bio-energy. We will also add a nuclear plant in Dabaa and a number of solar power plants that will provide our electricity needs,” he added.
The state will work through two paralleling major national projects; the developmental projects of the Suez Canal axis and small projects in poor regions.
As for the agricultural sector, Sisi will depend on two plans; the passage of development project in Wadi el-Gedid and to redraw the boundaries of Egyptian governorates to increase their agricultural hinterlands.
He said along these projects, he plans to develop the peasant’s conditions and try to solve their problems.
Regarding the health sector, he will gradually allocate a ratio of the general spending and set fair wages for the workers and adding medical facilities.
He seeks to develop the education sector for students, teachers, syllabus, and “educational buildings.”
The government will take care of the municipalities sector and work on forming new governorates, widening the other governorates, and constructing new airports and cities.
“The economic development will not reap the benefit … without social development,” he said.
They seek to provide cultural development, which the Egyptian media presenters and intellects should contribute to spread, adding that they have an essential role to increase production.
Regarding religious speak, Sisi said it is important to enhance the moral aspect including preserving the real image of Islam.
Sisi thanked Al-Azhar for its role in spreading Islam, adding, “Egypt is rich with its scholars. I look forward that Al-Azhar’s role in rectifying religious speech and to continue its efforts in spreading Islam.”
“We cannot forget the Church’s role as well, that had an effective role in showing the real image of national unity.”
Al-Azhar and the Church’s role in aligning the people’s will must be connected to a positive participation and full activation for both institutions for Egypt’s development, he said.
“Implementing this comprehensive, developmental vision – including its economic, social and cultural aspects – requires fundamental role from the Egyptian institutes,” Sisi added. “I will not allow [anyone] to create parallel leadership that goes against the country’s prestige and power.”
He said that combating corruption will be the county’s slogan in the upcoming period, adding that they will combat all forms of corruption.
The upcoming period requires preserving public funds and rectifying the “definition of the terms,” including the citizenship’s definition. The citizenship states there is no difference between citizens in rights and duties for any reasons or political conviction as long as it is in peaceful framework.
Applying the right meaning of citizenship will help achieving justice and equality between Egyptians.
“The definition of freedom is commitment and it is guaranteed for everyone but it stops if it compromises other people’s freedoms. It has its own regulated frame including laws and regulations religiously and morally, and includes criticism without hurting someone. There can be freedom of expression without platitude … other than, it is chaotic,” Sisi said.
Egyptian women are encouraged more than any other time to contribute in the upcoming period even if she is not a working woman. “[Women] are the secret behind the presence of society.”
He promised to exert his utmost efforts to attain a fair share in the forthcoming parliamentary council and executive positions.
“O, Egyptian youth, you are the hope and future and you are the one who will construct the new Egypt … with its new constitution including its rights, duties, and responsibilities.”
He promised the poor and those with limited wages a better life during in the upcoming period.
The country was able to achieve the first two entitlements of the roadmap and he will work on completing these entitlements, the third being the parliamentary elections.
“As long as our internal front is strong and unified, our economy is strong,” Sisi added.
The security of the Gulf countries is a red line since its security is an integral part of Egypt’s national security. The Palestine case will still be the priority of the Arab world and an essential file to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.
“I will not allow the Renaissance Dam issue to be a reason in creating a crisis or a problem or an obstacle to developing Egypt’s relation with Africa or North Ethiopia,” Sisi said. “If the dam represents to Ethiopia its right in development, the Nile River represents our right in life.”
African-Egyptian relations need to develop to achieve partnership for development in all industrial, agricultural, and trading sectors.
He said international relations in the upcoming period will be balanced democratic and variable relations.
The government will seek to develop relations with everyone that supports the people’s will, adding that the relations will not confine to only official circles (diplomatic relations).
“The era of dependency is over in the light of such relations. This will determine who the friends are to cooperate and achieve the peoples’ interests,” Sisi added.
Egypt is committed to international peace conventions and if there are any amendments in these agreements, it will be held through consultations with these countries.
At the end of his speech, Sisi saluted the martyrs of the both January 25 Revolution and the June 30 demonstration and the armed and police forces. He said he appreciated their sacrifice for the sake of Egypt.
Additional reporting by Randa el-Banna, Mohamed Abdel Megeed, and Sara Osama Shoureap.