15 November 2019 01:00 PM

Sisi: United Egypt capable of facing challenges

Sunday، 13 October 2019 - 04:21 PM

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said on Sunday 13/10/2019 that a united Egypt is capable of facing any challenges that could affect its future.

Sisi was replying to a question about Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam during an intellectual seminar of the Armed Forces.

He blamed incidents that occurred during 2011 for a failure to reach an agreement about the dam. It would have been easier to set terms that achieved interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, without any unilateral decisions, the president noted.

Sisi said he started to take action after assuming office in March 2015, citing meetings with Sudanese and Ethiopian leaders to outline a framework agreement of 10 points.

It was agreed that the dam's reservoir would be filled and operated in a way that would not severely harm Egypt, he told the gathering.

Egypt is now seeking mediation to solve the problem because a deal could not be reached with Ethiopia, Sisi said.

He made it clear that he will meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Russia next month to further discuss the issue.

"Truly, we could not reach an agreement about the Renaissance Dam over the past years, and that's why we need a fourth party...to see which step to take next," Sisi said.

The prime minister had addressed the parliament about the amount of water available in the time being, which is not enough to cope with a growing population, the president added.

With 100 million citizens, Egypt's quota of the Nile water remains the same as the time when the population was only 15 million, Sisi noted.

Based on international statistics, Egypt has already reached the level of water poverty, he said.

The President talked about an integrated plan that was outlined in 2014 to recycle water through advanced trilateral treatment stations with cost near 200 billion pounds.

Work is underway to establish desalination plants with the aim to process about 1.5 million cubic meters of water daily, he added.

Sisi then talked about the army's plan to obtain advanced equipment to cope with progress in the different armament systems.

Egypt is not an aggressor and does not seek to interfere in the affairs of others, Sisi assured.

"We only want to protect our borders, soil, national security and interests."

The President touched upon fourth generation wars, noting that cell phones can very well be used to obtain personal information about individuals to be used in broader studies.

Based on such studies, communities are divided into segments that could be used as target to foment tensions, Sisi said.

"Egypt is ready to export electricity to Europe, Africa and Asia," Sisi said, adding that there are electricity linkage projects with Cyprus, Greece, Sudan, Libya and Jordan.

"We are ready to meet their demands [of electricity], without affecting our current plan."

The president spoke of the importance of bringing up children in a proper way to create a new generation capable of facing all challenges.

He also touched on artificial intelligence, stressing that a plan is underway to create an automated database of the Egyptian state by the end of June 2020 to reduce reliance on human workers.

Commenting on recent calls to increase the capacity of ration cards, Sisi said: "Increasing the monthly capacity of ration cards by only EGP 30 per person would cost the state a total of 25 billion pounds a year."

The President pointed out that the security situation in Sinai has improved, urging more cooperation between residents and state bodies there to foil plots aimed at undermining the county's security.

"We did not force Sinai residents to leave their homes, but we gave them billions of money so that we could remove buildings, farms and thousands of tunnels on the borderline with the Gaza Strip which constituted a threat to national security," Sisi told Vice President of Sinai University Prof. Salah Sallam.

The State is carrying out several construction projects in Sinai, such as the New Rafah city, in addition to 26 new Bedouin communities in the north and south of Sinai, he noted.

The president urged Egyptians to be aware of plots targeting their country, citing a terrorist attack, which took place in Sinai immediately after his return from New York city last month.

Sisi also reiterated that the state is committed to paying compensation to families of those killed or wounded in military operations in Sinai.

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