President Sisi at the Arab Summit - REUTERS
CAIRO - 29 March 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delivered a speech at the opening session of the 28th Arab League summit taking place in Jordon on Wednesday, a press release from the presidential office read.
In his speech, President Sisi touched on the challenge of terrorism facing the Arab region, stressing the importance of combating terrorism, which he likened to “a serious disease.”
“Fighting terrorism has to be done through a comprehensive approach, starting from military actions and working on improving economic standards promptly and effectively, along with upholding the role of religious and educational institutions to battle extremist ideas propagated by ‘dark forces’ and promote coexistence and tolerance,” Sisi said.
He stressed that Arab nations must have a “unified and decisive stance” against “foreign forces trying to exploit the unprecedented challenges faced by Arab countries to exert more of their influence and control over our region.”
Speaking on the Syrian crisis, Sisi hailed the resumption of the Geneva talks after a one-year hiatus and called to accelerate finding a political solution in order to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people.
With the Libyan crisis entering its sixth year, the Egyptian president reiterated its support of the Libyan people “in their endeavors to reach a consensual and more applicable solution.”
“Dark forces have managed to stretch into Yemen, causing its current suffering from sectarian tensions, and to that, Egypt renewed its commitment to supporting Yemen and its legitimate institutions and continues to deliver the humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people,” Sisi said.
He emphasized the importance of expediting talks on freedom of navigation in the Bab El-Mandab Strait, the southern gateway between the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, affirming the necessity of reaching a solution to the current strained situation based on the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions, the Khaliji initiative supported by the Khaliji Cooperation Council and the national dialogue.
“On the other side, there’s Iraq, standing resolutely and firmly in the face of terrorism and dark forces,” Sisi added, stressing that the Iraqi war against Isis is also “our war.”
“We are warring for preserving our identity and fighting for the right of future generations to live in stable and peaceful community which embraces diversity and deserts all forms of terrorism,” Sisi said.
Sisi furthermore affirmed that the Palestinian cause “will remain our top priority,” pledging Egypt’s full commitment to the necessity of forming a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
Sisi concluded his statement by emphasizing the necessity of joint Arab work to resolve issues faced by the Arab nations.
The 22-member Arab League summit is scheduled to last for two days.