FILE - Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2018 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
CAIRO - 23 January 2019: Two days before the anniversary of the January 25, 2011 major uprising, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi congratulated the Egyptian people, saying that the revolution reflected the Egyptians' aspiration for "a new future for the country, where [people] can get a dignified life."
Attending the celebrations of the 67th anniversary of Egypt's National Police Day, Sisi highlighted the role the Egyptian police and army played to secure the country and face terrorist threats, praising the Egyptian police's stance in Ismailia in 1952, when they refused to surrender their weapons in the time of the British occupation, which led to the murder and injury of dozens of policemen.
"This stance transparently expresses the national character of the great Egyptian people; a character that seeks peace but is capable of fighting efficiently if required and when necessary, a character that is patient, but is overwhelmingly determined to [face] crises."
The reason January 25 is Police Day in Egypt dates back to 1952 when 50 policemen were killed and 80 were wounded in Ismailia by the British colonization. The massacre was the spark of the revolution that ended the monarchy in Egypt on July 23 of the same year.
Sisi said that the challenges Egypt faced in the last years will be memorized among the severest challenges the country witnessed in its modern history, adding that probably the biggest challenge is the attempts of "the dark and evil groups" to spread terrorism, which they imagine will help them achieve their "malicious" goals.
He added that these groups underestimate the Egyptian people and the country's armed forces and police.
Addressing terrorist groups, Sisi said that the Egyptian people have demonstrated wisdom over thousands of years, and "an unattainable insight that enables them to distinguish between right and wrong." He added that people, along with the army and police, and by God's will, are able to confront schemes and continue their "major battle of development and reform."
During the celebrations, the president honored families of police and army victims, and allowed many of the victims' relatives to give speeches.
Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik also highlighted the ministry's counter-terrorism efforts, saying that the attacks of terrorist groups, thanks to security efforts, have become limited to individual operations that police keeps on pursuing.
"The policy of the Interior Ministry is not limited to meeting traditional rigid requirements. It is in an accelerating consensus and a renewable interaction with all the requirements and tasks imposed by the [current situation]," Tawfik stated.
He added that the policy also requires combating all forms of crimes through a comprehensive security strategy, referring to the "decline in crime rate."