CAIRO: Egypt has deployed Special Forces to secure its western borders with Libya amid unrest prevailed in the oil-rich state since 2011, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stated in a Monday TV interview.
During a 30-minute phone call with Al-Qahira al-Youm TV Channel, Sisi re-assured Egyptians that external threats are under control, following a militant attack on Tunisia near Libyan border that killed dozens.
“You do not know the strength of the Egyptian army,” he said.
He added that since Qaddafi’s death and even during the Muslim Brotherhood reign, Egyptian air forces were performing daily flyovers to inspect the border, and had targeted many vehicles loaded with weapons.
He said that he rejects calls urging Egypt to launch military attacks in Libya, as Libya is a sovereign state.
“Like our brothers in Tunisia have defended themselves and refused to attack Libya, we will also be able to defend ourselves,” Sisi continued.
In his statements, Sisi showcased a record of accomplishments over the past 20 months, asking people to be patient and have trust in their government that it will “change a painful reality that accumulated over the long years.”
Development in Sinai
Sisi listed progress scored in ongoing projects to develop Sinai, saying that Egyptians know “little” about projects carried out in the peninsula, and that he is presenting that record after “poor communication” between him and the people.
According to him, most of the projects he discussed are set to be inaugurated within a year to a year and half, after 10 billion EGP were allocated for development of the area a year ago.
Sisi invited citizens and the media to go and see the accomplishments, saying “we do not tamper with ourselves or the Egyptian people.”
He noted government’s efforts to link Sinai to the rest of the country through the ongoing project of East Port Said Port, which he described as “the biggest port in the Mediterranean.”
The port aims to ease passage of ships heading to the port without intersecting with ships heading to the Suez Canal.
He also referred to parallel projects of tunnels and railway tunnels in Port Said and Ismailia, some 600 fish-farming basins accomplished in East of Suez Canal and a 1,500 km road network under construction to connect Port Said to Suez Gulf.
In North Sinai, Sisi announced that 27 Bedouin communities hosting 100-150 houses have been planned and supported with water wells and agricultural lands reaching 500 feddans.
He further added that more than 2,000 housing units in Arish city have been finalized, while construction of more than 3,000 others will begin within a month.
Further, he cited works in Lake of Bardawil and construction of five marble factories in Sinai.
He said that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have offered to contribute financing to development projects in the Peninsula.
Finally, he explained how he was “dazzled” by citizens in Korea and Japan, following his visit, saying that they have no resources but made success through “their discipline and work.”