Sinai between the two gulfs of Suez (L) and Aqaba (R) - Image courtesy of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Image Science & Analysis Laboratory
CAIRO - 25 April 2019: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi greeted Egyptians in a speech marking the Sinai Liberation Day, saying that Sinai has enhanced Egypt's strategic depth, highlighting the importance of "besieging the danger of dark terrorism and laying a solid foundation for economic development."
The Sinai Peninsula was liberated from Israeli occupation following the Egypt-Israel peace treaty signed in Washington in 1979. The treaty was signed by former President Anwar Al-Sadat and then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Israel had occupied Sinai during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Sadat went to war with Israel in October 1973. The October War was fought by a coalition of Arab states, led by Egypt and Syria, against Israel in Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Here are some highlights of the president's speech broadcasted on Thursday:
"I am speaking to you today on the 37th anniversary of the liberation of a dear part of the precious land of Egypt, the beloved Sinai, Ard al-Fayrouz (the land of turquoise), the gateway of the prophets, the Eastern gate of Egypt." Sisi said.
"The Sinai Liberation Day and its return to the motherland of Egypt will remain immortal in the minds of the Egyptians and a bright page in the history of the nation and a day separating loss and restoration, and defeat and victory."
"Our celebration of the liberation of Sinai should generate a renewed momentum of action and ensure the protection of every inch of the country and the achievement of the aspirations and rights of its people in a shining present and a bright future, with flags of freedom and dignity flapping high in its skies, shaded [by] security and safety, and where construction, development and progress are furthered"