President Abdel Fattah El Sisi presided Sunday over a meeting of the National Defense Council (NDC). The meeting was attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Finance, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, the Director of the General Intelligence Directorate, the Commanders of the main branches of the Armed Forces, the Chief of the Military Operations Authority and the Director of the Military Intelligence. Also attending were the Secretary General of the National Defense Council, and the Head of the Financial Affairs Authority of the Armed Forces, in addition to the Chairs of the Defense and National Security Committee and the Budget Committee at the House of Representatives.
The meeting discussed the armed forces’ budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017, pursuant to Article 203 of the constitution, which stipulates that the NDC shall discuss the armed forces’ budget and its opinion must be sought in relation to draft laws on the armed forces.
The meeting reviewed a security plan for the country in the coming period, coinciding with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. President El Sisi stressed the importance of ensuring the highest levels of security and safety for the citizens, particularly during this period of time. The meeting also addressed measures undertaken by the government to rationalize prices, and tackle price hikes and attempts to exploit citizens. The President gave directives to continue exerting efforts in full collaboration between the ministries and relevant state authorities to address price hikes and attempts to monopolize commodities in violation of the law.
The NDC meeting also tackled counter-terrorism efforts, as well as military operations to eradicate terrorism in northern Sinai. It emphasized the importance of coordinating international efforts exerted to combat terrorism, through a comprehensive approach that encompasses military and security aspects in addition to cultural and intellectual dimensions. This approach shall also include curtailing the flow of money, arms and fighters to terrorist groups.
The gathering also discussed the regional situation, particularly the international momentum built toward the Palestinian cause and attempts to re-position the issue as a priority on the international agenda. The Minister of Foreign Affairs reviewed the outcome of meetings held recently in Paris, which aimed at discussing the French peace initiative. The NDC meeting agreed on supporting all international efforts aimed at settling the Palestinian issue and realizing just and comprehensive peace in the region, in compliance with international resolutions, the Arab peace initiative, and within the framework of the two-state solution. This shall realize a safer and more stable reality in the region and a better future for the coming generations.
The above statement is a Presidency press release.