President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed several local and regional topics during the third edition of World Youth Forum held in Sharm El Sheikh. Most of the topics were mentioned during talks with representatives of foreign press institutions operating in Egypt, some were mentioned during “Ask the President” session, and other remarks came as comments during different session of the forum.
Daily News Egypt highlights Al-Sisi’s comments on top issues in the country and region starting from youth, women, reaching stability in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
President Al-Sisi stressed the importance of the national army’s role in maintaining security and stability within their countries. He said, ”armies are responsible for the security of their countries. Therefore, these armies must be national and non-partisan, so that the interests of the country can be of primary importance for them.”
He praised the Egyptian army, saying: “The Egyptian army includes both Muslims and Christians, and it is not partisan, and whoever does not follow the rules of the army leaves quickly and calmly.”
When the president was asked to what extent he supports women, he said that he supports them to the last extent.
“We have talked about this issue a lot since I assumed responsibility, to give women a real opportunity to participate with men in Egypt, as women are eligible for that.”
Al-Sisi explained that women in Egypt have always had a great, patriotic role, pointing out that women had a role in 2012 and 2013 in preserving the Egyptian identity, and moved without summons for that.
President Al-Sisi highlighted the state’s keenness to communicate with young people, citing a recent presidential decree appointing 12 new governors and 23 deputy governors, all of them are under 35 years, which demonstrates the state’s commitment to engaging young people in leadership positions.
Spread of Rumours
The President said during the session on “the effects of spreading lies of the state in light of the fourth generation wars”, that there is a general sense of doubt of national achievements that started years ago, before the era of social networking sites. He explained that every achievement he announces is followed by a terrorist operation due to Egypt being a permanent target.
The President stressed the lack of tolerance for any harm against any state agency, stressing that what was mentioned in the past few days are lies and slander and there is no building of new presidential palaces.
The president said that the army, the police, and the presidency are national institutions and will never be affected by rumours.
He said that what happened in Israel are electoral promises by Benjamin Netanyahu, and there is a difference between the promises and their implementation, and Egypt has a steadfast stance on a two-state solution, settlements, and the Palestinian issue.
He also explained that the Palestinian issue is a priority, and there are no prospects on the horizon for a solution that dismantles this complicated issue, which is 70 years old.
“We are waiting for elections and forming a government in Israel before moving towards a solution … and Egypt supports a solution that leads to real stability that takes the region into a new stage. It was followed by an agreement between Egypt and Israel to achieve stability and peace in the region, but there are no indications of this so far,” Al-Sisi said.
Syria and Lebanon
Al-Sisi stated that Syria should focus on restoring stability in the country, asserting that ”millions of Syrian refugees are now in different countries but will return to Syria. Let the people live in peace.”
He also warned of escalating Lebanon’s political situation, confirming that if the situation in Lebanon escalates ”the crisis will not just be in Syria, but also in Lebanon, and it will be a bigger problem.”
Al-Sisi stressed his commitment to the list of 13 demands announced by Cairo, Riyadh, UAE, and Bahrain more than two years ago to proceed with reconciliation with Qatar.
“There are ongoing efforts that we wish to succeed,” he said when asked about the reconciliation. However, he added, “I stress that the matter has not changed,” in reference to the list of conditions set by the four capitals.
He added, “We hope for the success of any sincere efforts to reach permanent commitments, and when we look at certain media outlets, we find a subjective approach in order to harm Egypt in this regard and we must inform to let people pay attention to that.”
Al-Sisi said there is a framework agreement signed in March 2015 which we are already following regarding the Ethiopian Dam, adding that “when we needed to develop a course of negotiation, we did so, seeking mediation.”
“Now we are waiting for January, either to reach an agreement or have a fourth party in the negotiations,” the president said.
He continued, “We seek to build, not to destroy and have never spoken in any provoking form, at least during the period in which I assumed responsibility and was seeking a solution. These are our options … and our resources should not be wasted in fighting but should be directed to building, and reconstruction.”
During the closing session, Al-Sisi made some recommendation which all focused on youth and their development and connection with other nations.
He directed the forum’s administration to take the necessary measures towards forming partnerships with global forums interested in youth and their issues and to establish the National Academy for Training and Qualifying Youth. The aim is to upgrade the methods of using artificial intelligence in order to implement the goals of sustainable development and rebuilding capacities to overcome the expected transformations in the labour market.
Al-Sisi tasked the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptians’ Affairs Abroad, in coordination with the concerned authorities, and the World Youth Forum to launch an initiative entitled “Survival Boats”, to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal immigration on the beaches most used for migration.
He also called for launching the “100 Words About Peace” campaign on the forum’s website, with the aim of promoting and supporting peace values around the world to spread messages of unity and peaceful coexistence among people.
The president further tasked the management of the World Youth Forum in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Union for the Mediterranean to launch the Mediterranean Youth Forum, to address the challenges facing Mediterranean countries and supporting the best ideas and experiences for the youth of the region.
AL-Sisi announced that the fourth edition of World Youth Forum, in 2020, will adopt a strategy to deal with the technological developments of the fourth industrial revolution and serve the aspirations of the world’s youth.