News / Middle East

Egypt's Sissi: Extremists Destroying Region, Threaten World

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks in a nationally televised broadcast in Cairo, July 7, 2014.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks in a nationally televised broadcast in Cairo, July 7, 2014.
Reuters

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi warned world powers on Monday that Islamist militants are ravaging the Middle East and pose a threat to everyone's security.

"Be alert to what is happening in the region ... This region is being destroyed right now and we should not let this happen," Sissi said in a televised speech.

"This matter concerns not just the Arab world. It concerns the entire world," he said, naming the United States, Russia, China and Europe.Militants have long challenged pro-Western Arab countries, and Egypt itself faces an Islamist insurgency based in the Sinai peninsula.

But a lightning advance by the Islamic State through major oil producer Iraq has rung alarm bells from Cairo to Washington.

The al-Qaida offshoot declared itself a "caliphate" last month, weeks after overrunning the northern city of Mosul and seizing swaths of land north and west of the capital.

Top U.S. defense officials said last week Iraq's security forces were able to defend the capital, Baghdad, but would have difficulty going on the offensive to recapture lost territory, mainly because of logistic weaknesses.

Sissi did not name the Islamic State in his speech, but the mention of "countries that are being destroyed and divided in the name of religion" was a clear reference to their actions in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Sissi told Reuters before his election in May that Egypt needed U.S. support to combat militants, who have stepped up attacks on Egyptian security forces since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood just over a year ago, killings hundreds in bombings and shootings.

The government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group, but the Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement.

The former army chief warned that the Sinai could turn into a base for "terrorism," destabilizing Egypt and the region.

Most of Sissi's speech focused on efforts to revive the economy and fix state finances, which have been battered by more than three years of political turmoil.

He said his government's decision to cut subsidies for fuel and electricity were necessary to improve Egypt's budget deficit, which is set to hold at 10 percent of economic output in the next three years.

Gulf Arab allies opposed to the Brotherhood have extended more than $12 billion in cash and petroleum products to help Egypt stave off economic collapse. But Sissi said reforms, not aid, were needed to ensure long-term stability.

"Our brothers stood by our side," he said. "But for how long and then what?"

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by: Niamatullah from: Kabul
July 08, 2014 7:46 AM
How can Sisi say in his word extremist destroying region and threaten world, he his self with his local friends (Amar Musa,Mohammad Al bradie)and Foreign Friends Britain has attack mosques , and kill more than twenty thousand innocent people last year in Eygept . he and his Friends are the extremist and those who destroying region and world.

by: Ali Baba from: new york
July 07, 2014 10:44 PM
As he is the president of Egypt , he understand the danger of extremist. He was witness for one year how Muslim brotherhood are so violent and committed several crimes. At the same times that terrorist organization can be defeated easily by local Gov. During President Mubarak, he was able to put them under control. If each country fight them ,they will disappear .

by: Mudabber from: Pakistan
July 07, 2014 10:02 PM
Sisi, YOU are responsible for the mess created in Egypt. YOU, the dictator deposed the democratically elected president. Your government is immoral & illegitimate.

by: Alexander M Swan from: USA
July 07, 2014 9:18 PM
Egypt Military now able to suppress the country but it is only a temporary solution. Long term solution is required to prevent from the bloodshed revolution in future. Education to the people is very important to avoid the extremism. The shared power distribution with the oppositions in the government administration is very important too because it will protect the country from division in future with killing each other.

by: Melody from: Australia
July 07, 2014 8:22 PM
hey VOA, who cares about Egypt..?? egypt can go to hell...
we want to hear more about Israel - Israel is the most incredible place in the world - we want to hear more about ISRAEL !!!

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