11 May 2021 09:38 PM

Sisi to Die Welt: Security should not be achieved at expense of freedom

Sunday، 25 April 2021 - 11:51 AM

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said security should not be achieved at the expense of freedom, even in a country going through difficult circumstances like Egypt, stressing that no one in Egypt is imprisoned because of their political views.

"Criticism is guaranteed for all, but it should be constructive and not incitement," Sisi told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview.

"Stability is so important, particularly in a country like Egypt, where youths constitute 60 percent of its 100-million population," he said.

"We seek a constitutional state, but inciting to coup is dangerous and is not acceptable," Sisi added.

However, the president asserted that security should not come at the expense of freedom, even in a country like Egypt which is going through hard circumstances.

"Your country has gone a long way, and it is now among the richest countries in the world … Egypt is far from this," Sisi told the interviewer.

"At least one million youths enter the labor market every year," he said, wondering: "from where are such jobs provided?"

"Jobs cannot be created if the security situation is not stable, otherwise chaos will prevail as the case is in other countries in the region," he pointed out.

"Jobs cannot be created unless Europe helps us build industries," he said. "Europe cannot host every illegal migrant."

"Since 2016, we have been able to prevent illegal migrants from storming Europe … and it was important for us that the security of Europe would not be affected by this," he stressed.

"We can stop this illegal immigration only by creating the appropriate climate for security and stability … we do not ask for anything in return from Europe … we do not even think of using the issue in political and economic blackmail," he said.

"At the same time, we have 6 million refugees in Egypt, including 500,000 from Syria, in addition to large numbers from Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Ethiopia and other African countries, and many of them see Egypt as a transit point, but we will not allow them to move forward," he added.

He asserted that the refugees in Egypt are guests and they are treated as if they are Egyptians. "We offer them all what we can, even coronavirus vaccines … we do not have refugee camps in Egypt as refugees are integrated inside Egyptian society."

President Sisi asserted that no one can oppose people who revolted two times – in 2011 and 2013 – to topple two governments.

"They can rise for the third and fourth time if they disagree with the ruler," Sisi said. "Mubarak was in power for 30 years before he was overthrown; Morsi ruled for one year before he was driven out of office by the people."

"Egyptians have a free will and a power to dismiss any government they do not like," he added.

Sisi said that during elections, reporters and civil society organizations were invited to oversee the process in order to guarantee holding the elections properly.

"The US embassy welcomed the elections that took place in Egypt and asserted that they were impartial and credible," he added.

Sisi asserted the strong will of the Egyptians. "After 2011 and 2013, no one can rule the Egyptians against their will."

On allegations by a number of organizations about political detainees in Egypt, Sisi said: "We do not imprison anybody over his political views."

"We do a lot so that everyone gets justice in courts, and we do not have political detainees," he added. "We previously had chaos, but we are now working on building and stability."

The president asserted that Egyptians need to have access to good education so that they can avoid chaos when expressing their opinions.

He asserted that applying freedom and democracy standards should take into account the conditions of the Egyptian people and how the poor and illiterate are living.

"I do not want to ask support for them … just give us some of your knowledge, industry and technology … we want to share your advancement just as you ask us to adopt your ideas about freedom," he said.

On Palestine, Sisi said: "we always tell the Israeli side that the the Palestinian cause comes first, and after that Israel can discuss any other issues."

"The establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel will guarantee the security of the Israeli citizens, not only the Palestinians," he added.


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