File- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi gives a speech on the centenary of the establishment of the Jordanian state on April 11, 2021- Press photo
CAIRO – 25 April 2021: “Criticism is permissible for everyone! But it has to be constructive criticism, not incitement,” said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in an interview with German newspaper ‘Die Welt’ and published on Saturday.
President Sisi has talked about several issues related with Egypt’s Human rights situation, freedom of expression, social development, women representation in political life, besides the file of Illegal migration.
“Stability is very important. We need a constitutional state, but Incitement to overthrow is dangerous and unacceptable,” said in the interview, adding “There are no political prisoners in Egypt. People did not take to the streets for freedom of expression, but to be able to live."
President Sisi added that there is one can oppose a nation [like Egypt] that revolted twice against two governments in 2011 and 2013, adding that Egyptians can revolt third and fourth times if they disagree with the governance.
“The Egyptians have free will and the power to overthrow any government they do not like,” he said.
In response to a question on allegations of the lack of impartiality in Egypt’s last Presidential Election, President Sisi said “we are sure that the election was fair.”
Talking about the overthrow of the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule, President Sisi said that this group wasn’t up to the huge problems that could have resulted in a civil war like some countries in the region.
“The Muslim brotherhood is trying to convey a negative impression about the human rights situation, democracy and freedom in Egypt to build up pressure from Europe,” he continued.
Replying to a question about whether Egypt is pursuing to possess nuclear weapons in case that nuclear talks with Iran failed, President Sisi said that having nuclear weapons is not the way to bring progress or power to peoples, giving an example of Germany, saying “Germany does not have an atomic bomb and is still one of the great powers.”
In the interview, President Sisi played a video showing how the rural people are living, saying “should we buy nuclear weapons? I would have liked you to ask me how I can live here without changing this [situation].’
He continued that 250,000 families, who were living in streets, were transported to well- furnished apartments, saying “Egypt has problems for 70 years without finding solutions by anyone. But now I have to solve it in the shortest possible time so that people don't suffer even more.”
“How can I sit here [in power] and let people live in misery?” he said.
Regarding women’s role in Egypt’s development, President Sisi, who expressed his happiness that he was interviewed by women, highlighted how Egyptian women participated in building their society and how they participated in ousting the late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
The Egyptian parliament has 162 women, which constitutes more than 25% of the Parliament quota, while the government has eight female ministers in vital ministries.
“Women in Egypt are above all. When I ask women questions for solving big problems, I get the best answers,” he continued.
Talking about creating jobs for the youth, President Sisi affirmed creating job opportunities for youth is a matter connected with stability, saying “The European assistance in building industries can help create job opportunities for youth.”
As for the issue of illegal migration from Egypt to Europe, President Sisi said that Since September 2016, Egypt has been preventing illegal migration attempts from Egypt to Europe.
Prevention of illegal migration is being conducted through creating an appropriate climate of security and stability, the President said, adding that Egypt hosts six million refugees from Syria [500,000], Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, and other African countries. Most of them see Egypt as a gateway but his country does not allow them to pass through it.
“The Security of Europe is important to us. Egypt does not use the file of preventing illegal migration to Europe for any political or economic blackmail,” he said.
In response to a question about the Israeli-Palestinian cause, President Sisi affirmed that a Palestinian state alongside Israel means a guarantee of security for the Israeli citizens, not just for the Palestinians. He clarified that Egypt is doing its efforts with the Palestinian factions to reach reconciliation.