President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said he will release all prisoners recommended by the Detained Youth Committee in accordance with Article 155 of the Constitution during his interview with the Portuguese LUSA news agency on Saturday. The interview comes two days before he is set to visit Portugal on an official visit to discuss ways in which Egypt and Portugal can strengthen their economic, political, and diplomatic ties.
According to Al-Sisi, there was a 37% increase in trade between both countries last year.
The president also spoke about internal efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in North Sinai, saying the state is keen to uphold the values of democracy, human rights, and freedoms whilst also ensuring national security.
On the subject of the economy, the president told LUSA the state wants to protect low-income Egyptians, as the most vulnerable economic group, by implementing plans aimed at alleviating some of the measures imposed by the economic reform programme.
Al-Sisi also said the state is working on promoting basic services such as healthcare and education.
The president also spoke about the recent election in the United States (US), saying he respects president-elect Donald Trump, adding he believes Trump will be more involved in the region and that the strategic role of the US in the Middle East will not diminish.
Al-Sisi’s trip will mark the first official visit to Portugal in the past 24 years. Egypt is also the first country to be invited to meet with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa since his inauguration in March, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Saturday.