President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated on Wednesday a three-day conference during which the Egyptian state will present its achievements over the past four years. The president presented a list of the achievements to the audience.
“The Egyptian people have achieved a lot and have spent a lot throughout the last period,” he said, adding, “history will not forget the sacrifices of the police and the army,”
He cited conflicts and divisions in the area, saying, “in the last 50 years, the region has been suffering since the 1967 aggression, which started political and armed conflicts in the area.” He mentioned that “forces of evil” have climbed to claim victories that were achieved by the masses, as is the case in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. This resulted, he added, in the existence of 15 million refugees, whose plight has cost $90bn.
“I alone cannot overcome challenges without the support of the Egyptian people,” he elaborated.
“When Egypt is stable, the region is stable,” he said, adding, “I stood along with the men of the armed forces in July 2013 with the will of the Egyptian people.” He presented four points the Egyptian state was determined to achieve including creating jobs for millions of youth in order to withstand workers returning from areas of conflict, ustilising national projects and companies to do so.
Second, the Egyptian state wanted to present the country as one that withstood the conflicts in the region. Third, the state worked on building strong infrastructure for industry, such as roads, the new Suez Canal, ports, airports, and industrial areas. The fourth point was protecting the Egyptian state from different threats.
He added that he knew that economic reform was a “tough and unpopular decision that was going to affect my popularity…I was advised to postpone it to another period or to the reign of another president, but I had faith in the people.”
The conference began with a short film, sparking nationalist feelings to promote the achievements of the Egyptian regime over the past four years. The film starts showing footage of different wars and various nationalist events. The film mentioned that change took place in the 25 January revolution, but “the Egyptians’ dream” was stolen by “traders of religion”, in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The film also cited the rise of the militant Islamic State group as a challenge that “Egyptians overthrew” and also cited the national projects that the state and the Egyptian Armed Forces have been constructing.
The Egyptian regime has, on a regular basis, relied on major national projects to contribute to boosting the national economy, economic development, and raising the country’s production rates.
The first day of the conference was attended by a range of state officials including the prosecutor general, the Grand Mufti of the country, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the parliament speaker, and security officials.
On the same day, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali held a press conference at his campaign headquarters during which he asserted that he is still determined to continue with his bid for the presidency. He mentioned that despite some violations that his campaign monitored, “each endorsement is the free will of civilians.”
He added that the aim of his campaign is not only to collect the 25,000 required endorsements, but it is a “fight to restore faith in public work.” The campaign has presented complaints to the Supreme Electoral Commission about the “for you to build it” pro-Al-Sisi campaign, saying it is a violation of public campaign spaces rules.