President El-Sisi’s Speech at the “Jeddah Summit for Security and Development”
Sunday، 17 July 2022 - 10:17 PM
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”
My brother King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz
"Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies"
I would like to extend my salutations and appreciation to the countries participating in today’s summit, which comes at an extraordinary moment in the history of the world and the Arab region, bearing a clear political sign to reinvigorate our resolve to advance the engagement between the Arab countries and the United States of America, either at the bilateral level or within a broader regional context. This shall enable us to embark together on wider prospects of cooperation, fulfilling the aspirations and the interests of our peoples, based on robust and longstanding relations and bonds that are founded on upholding entrenched principles, that we should not deviate from, in order to achieve mutual benefit and preserve security and stability in the entire region.
Aggravated regional and international crises were successive and have increased in intensity, like the Coronavirus pandemic, climate change, food security and the outbreak of armed conflicts regionally and internationally. This cast a shadow over humanity in its entirety, including our Arab region, which is suffering from formidable political, developmental, and security challenges. Those include the threat of the spread of terrorism in a manner that compromises the stability of our peoples and jeopardizes the rights of the next generations. Our nation is legitimately questioning our tools and measures to address these challenges, the fate of the crises our region has been witnessing for more than a decade as well as prospects for settling them.
In this context, it is necessary for our countries and our region to make tangible contributions to the formulation of un-phased and durable solutions to these contemporary challenges on scientific and realistic foundations. In Egypt, we are seeking to achieve this, emanating from our belief that everyone has one identity, namely belonging to humanity. It is no longer acceptable to have among the sons of our Arab nation, with its glorious history, rich civilizational contribution, and enormous potential and human resources, any refugees and displaced or anyone affected by the scourge of wars and disasters or feeling hopeless about a better tomorrow.
It is time to concert our joint efforts to put an end to all chronic conflicts and protracted civil wars that have exhausted the peoples of the region, depleted and misplaced their resources and wealth and allowed some forces to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries. Those conflicts and wars have also paved the way for the unlawful military aggression against their territories and the tampering with their resources and the fate of their generations, by invoking pre-modern state conflicts of sectarian, ethnical, racial and tribal hostilities, where no one emerges as the winner. This led to the collapse of the foundations of the modern nation state and allowed the emergence of the phenomenon of terrorism, and the dissemination of the dark and extremist ideology.
"Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies"
Egypt has numerous historic experiences in the region, during which it had always been pioneering and proactive in the openness on the various peoples and cultures and in adopting the pathway of peace, as its strategic choice that it has created, imposed and maintained. Egypt bore the flag of disseminating its culture, believing in the power of logic, not the logic of power, and in the fact that the world embraces everybody. It is the peace of the powerful that is based on the truth, justice, balance, respect for the rights of the other and accepting it.
Allow me from this platform, and on the occasion of our summit today, to outline a comprehensive, five-pronged approach to act on priority issues during the next phase in order to serve our coveted goals toward a more stable and prosperous region:
You may agree with me that moving toward the future depends on how we deal with the protracted crises of the past. Therefore, our joint efforts to resolve the region’s crises, either those which occurred during the past decade or persistent ones before that, could not be successful except through forging a just, comprehensive and final settlement to the Arabs’ number one case, namely the Palestinian issue. This shall be based on the two-state solution in accordance with the relevant international legitimacy resolutions and stipulate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It shall also guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, ensuring that they live in security and peace side by side with the State of Israel, in a manner that realizes the security of the two peoples and provides a new reality for the peoples of the region, that they could accept and live with. This shall help end any exclusionary policies, and reinforce the values of co-existence and peace and the prospects that they open-up and embody. Therefore, it is imperative to boost our joint efforts, not only to revive the trajectory of the peace process, but also to bring it this time to a final irreversible solution that shall become the impetus on which peace endeavors in the region are based.
Building societies from within on the bases of democracy, citizenship, equality, respect of human rights, in addition to renouncing sectarian and extremist ideologies and upholding the concept of national interest is the guarantor for the sustainability of stability in its comprehensive sense, and for preserving peoples’ resources and preventing them from being robbed or misused. Achieving this requires enhancing the role of the nation state, with its inclusive identity, supporting the pillars of its constitutional institutions, and enhancing its potential, capabilities and cadres. This shall enable it to carry out its functions to establish the pillars of good governance, achieve security, reinforce the law, counter external forces, provide a conducive climate for fundamental rights and freedoms, empower women and the youth, and support the role of civil society as a partner in the development process as well as the role of religious institutions and leaders in promoting the culture of moderation and tolerance to ensure the freedom of religion and belief. This is, in addition to reinforcing the path of political, economic and social reforms, advancing investments, and providing jobs, thus leading to sustainable development. This shall fulfil the aspirations of our peoples for a better future, where they participate in its construction and bear the fruits of its achievements without discrimination.
This aspect relates to Arab national security. I reiterate that Arab national security is integral and that the self-capacity of Arab countries, in cooperation with their partners, is enough to provide the appropriate framework to address any dangers afflicting our Arab world. In this regard, I would like to underscore that the principles of respect of states’ sovereignty, non-interference in their internal affairs, fraternity and equality are governing the relations among Arab countries, and that they are the very principles enshrined in the spirit and purposes of the UN Charter. They shall also be the same principles governing the relations between Arab countries and their neighboring countries and others at the international level. Within this context, I will not miss tackling the concept of integrated regional security. I reiterate the need to take practical steps conducive to tangible results toward establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, while enhancing the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, in this regard and maintaining the system of non-proliferation. This shall constitute a fundamental cornerstone for an integrated system of regional security in the region.
Terrorism remains a major challenge from which Arab countries have been suffering for long decades. Therefore, we renew our commitment to combating terrorism and extremist ideology in all its forms with the aim of annihilating all armed organizations and militias spread in several parts of our Arab world. Those receive support from foreign forces to serve their destructive agenda; use arms to achieve political and military gains and prevent the applications of settlements and national reconciliations; prevent the peoples from reinforcing their will in some countries; and even develop their capabilities to carry out cross-border operations. In this context, I would like to reiterate that there is no place for the concept of militias, mercenaries or armed gangs in the region, and that their supporters who provided safe haven, money, arms, and training for terrorists and allowed their elements to move from one place to another, have to review their miscalculations and realize that there is absolutely no compromise with the protection of our national security and its red lines, and that we will protect our security, interests and rights by all means.
This axis is related to the need to enhance international cooperation and solidarity to elevate the capabilities of the region’s countries to address major and emerging global crises, for example food shortages, instability in energy markets as well as water security and climate change issues. The aim is to contain the consequences of these crises, recover from their effects and increase investments in developing the infrastructure across many fields, so as to contribute to the localization of various industries, transfer the technology and know-how, and the abundance of goods.
In this context, Egypt supports every effort that would develop cooperation and diversify partnerships to confront the current food and energy crises, while emphasizing that addressing the food crisis requires considering its multiple dimensions in the short and long terms, to set effective mechanisms that respond rapidly to the needs of the affected countries through urgent support packages. This is in addition to developing mechanisms for sustainable agricultural production, grain storage and waste reduction, in cooperation with partners and international financial institutions. The same applies to addressing the energy crisis, which requires effective cooperation on our part to ensure the stability of global energy markets. The East Mediterranean Gas Forum‘s successes over the past years represent our political will to cooperate with our partners and are an example of how to manage wealth and optimally utilize current and future resources in order to preserve energy sources.
With regard to water security, it is essential to renew commitment to the rules of international law related to international rivers to allow all the peoples to fairly benefit from these natural resources. It is also important to safeguard water security requirements of the region’s countries and to prevent upstream countries of the rivers, which represent the lifelines to all peoples, from violating the rights of downstream countries.
With regard to climate change, we must continue working collectively within the international multilateral frameworks related to this vital issue. This mainly includes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to ensure achieving the goals we agreed upon in accordance with the rules and principles we have accepted. I would also like to emphasize that our Arab and African regions are among the regions affected the most by the negative effects of climate change and the ensuing repercussions on food, energy and water security, societal peace and political stability. Therefore, we must agree on a comprehensive vision to support Arab and African countries, empower them to fulfill their relevant international commitments, and raise their capability to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. This vision shall contribute to addressing the financial liquidity crisis, intensifying climate financing directed to these countries, as well as supporting and enhancing investments in renewable energy. In this regard, I look forward to welcoming you in Sharm El-Sheikh at the World Climate Summit COP 27 in November 2022 to continue together reaffirming our firm commitment to efforts to confront climate change, to turn this challenge into a real opportunity for development and shift to more sustainable green economic patterns for the benefit of all the peoples in the world.
"Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies"
Today, I wanted to share with you the five axes underlying Egypt’s vision to counter the current challenges in order to put our region on the path of comprehensive and sustainable stability and to usher in together a new chapter in the strategic partnership among our countries and peoples. This partnership is based on the foundations of mutual trust and support, solidarity, as well as upholding common interests and sharing burden and responsibilities, while taking into consideration the circumstances, specificities, experiences, customs and traditions of each society, as well as the challenges it faces, in line with the concept of the integration of civilizations in our contemporary time.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the warm reception and hospitality. I would also like to send a message to our brotherly and friendly peoples and our partners in the U.S. I want to tell them: you will always find Egypt, which you have known and which founded the earliest human civilization on the banks of its immortal River Nile, as your support and partner. You will find its hand extended for the sake of preserving and maximizing our common interests. Let us walk together steadfastly on the future path of construction, development and progress, illuminating it with our relentless hope and determination. Let us count on ourselves and our common vision on how to address the crises in a manner that respects the will and choices of the peoples and their right to self-determination. We will move forward, confident in our approach and in the capabilities offered by our partnership and our experiences that will enable us to surmount the hardships no matter how difficult they are. Let us chart a better tomorrow for all of us and for future generations.
May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all