Sisi stresses counter-extremism in UNGA70 speech
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York - REUTERS

CAIRO: Egypt will counter extremism with “hope and positive work,” President Sisi announced during his speech in the debate in the 70th session of the UN General Assembly Sept. 28.

“I can imagine the grief and sadness any Muslim can feel when prejudged for being a follower to that religion; this power seeks digging a huge hollow between Muslims and the whole world,” Sisi said.

The president said that some groups give themselves the right to interpret Islam in a way that can never be true of the peaceful Islam, but that “nearly a billion and a half refuse to be under the control of a small group that kills violently whoever opposes it.”

In January, the president called for  “religious revolution” within Islam, to correct misconceptions about the faith, adding “We should closely examine the situation in which we are in. It does not make sense that the thought we sanctify pushes this entire nation to become a source of apprehension, danger, murder and destruction in the entire world.”

At the U.N., Sisi noted the successful establishment of new Suez Canal, which he said reflected that “hope and work” can overcome all challenges. The two-way expansion of the Canal was inaugurated Aug. 6, and is expected to speed traffic on the vital waterway.

The president tackled the issue of Libya and how it has “descended towards extremism,” noting the February murder of 21 Egyptians on Libyan shores by Islamic State group affiliates.

“That’s why we seek a political settlement as agreed on in Sokhirat agreement between the Libyan frictions, to rebuild the Libyan state and promote its potentials to counter terrorism,” he added.

Sisi also referred to Egypt’s call to form a Syrian National Coalition to put visualization for the situation to rebuild Syria, as done in Geneva Conference.

The president also spoke about the security situation in Yemen, and called for the application of Security Council’s recommendations to preserve Arab security and to achieve the state’s independence and the safety of its land.

“Egypt hosts a huge number of refugees that are being treated as partners and brothers despite the economic constraints,” he said, and called for nations to open channels for legal migration.

He called on the states to join forces to empower the Palestinian people to state their destiny and establish a state with Eastern Quds a capital, which “will end the instability in the region,” he said.

“After that, the region will be free to build its futures together towards prosperity,” he added.

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