Tuesday, May 27, 2014

El-Sisi called for further negotiations with Ethiopia

Former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi answered questions about political prisoners, the Ethiopian dam and other issues in the second half of his third pre-election interview on Monday.

Three anchors from the privately owned TV stations Al-Nahar, Dream and Al-Hayat fielded questions at the frontrunner for two hours.

When asked if he would release those jailed for breaking the controversial protest law, El-Sisi said: "I will do anything that will help promote stability and social justice."

He emphasised that he was not speaking about the Muslim Brotherhood.

The former army chief spoke of a "Marshall" plan in the works for Egypt, similar to the US sponsored plan that rebuild Europe in the aftermath of World War II.


El-Sisi said education and health would be at the top of his agenda if he was elected president.

I do not make promises that cannot fulfill, he asserted.

"I hope Egyptians will start to feel some changes within two years [if I am elected president]."

He said he would try to control inflation in order to help poor and middle class people.

He highlighted the "heroic" role of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the October War of 1973 and the subsequent peace treaty with Israel.

Regarding the Renaissance Dam, El-Sisi called for further negotiations.

The negative effects of the dam must be communicated with clarity to the Ethiopian government, he added. 

Regarding slums, El-Sisi said he would improve them by installing electricity and sewage facilities, and repairing roads. 

El-Sisi rejected the notion that he represents former president Hosni Mubarak and that he is trying to restore the pre-January revolution regime.

Such rumors should not exist, El-Sisi declared, and there should be no room for such fallacies.

He said he had always been impressed by Egyptians' political awareness.

"The 25 January and 30 June revolutions, and the authority Egyptians have given me, shows they are aware of the dangers Egypt is facing."

El-Sisi stressed the crucial role of the media. He said it had always tried to raise the awareness of citizens and he needed it to continue doing this.

Regarding Egypt's relationship with the US, he said he would deal with all foreign countries in the same way.

When told the US government would pressure the new president to include the Muslim Brotherhood in the political process, he said it would first have to convince the Egyptian people.  

Speaking about the Salafist Nour Party, El-Sisi said they would help to build a prosperous Egypt.

He then highlighted the role of Christians in society. He stressed that he was aware of sectarianism, and Egyptians should unite against it.

Egyptians will vote for a new president on 26-27 May.

El-Sisi's only challenger is Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who finished third in the 2012 poll, which was won by Mohamed Morsi.
http://english.ahram.org.eg