Criticism of prime minister ‘not fair’: Al-Sisi

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Al-Sisi said in his interview with the editors-in-chief of national newspapers that he trusts Prime Minister Sherif Ismail; however, people judge the prime minister based on prices and circumstances, which is not fair due to Ismail’s responsibilities amid a difficult period.

In the second part of the interview, which was published on Wednesday, Al-Sisi said that there will be some ministerial reshuffling soon. He added that there will be a new council for political affairs, both domestic and foreign, in the presidential advisory councils.

The president touched upon the church attack that took place in December and killed at least 26. He said that he gave a speech before the people at the same cathedral on the eve of Coptic Christmas to rectify common religious discourse. “You cannot imagine how this speech affected Egyptians and foreigners,” Al-Sisi said.

On renewing the religious discourse, Al-Sisi said that there is significant development and change, adding that people now have a different view on religion.

Al-Sisi said that war on terrorism is as dangerous as any other war, and might be even more critical. He added that people may not realise that a war has been ongoing for three and a half years, but Egypt has taken a steady step in combating terrorism and as a result, terrorism in Egypt has diminished compared to what it used to be three years ago.

Regarding combating corruption, the president stressed on his persistence to hold accountable anyone involved in corruption, no matter what their post is.

He went on to say that the 25 January Revolution brought with it new advantages, but it also presented new challenges that Egyptian people have to accept. He asked people to be fair in their judgement of the state and the trials and tribulations it is going through.

Al-Sisi also touched on the media and the press. He said that the government cannot tolerate media that is biased and politically motivated. However, he claimed that there will be no extraordinary actions taken against these media outlets.

On the international level, Al-Sisi said that he expects Egypt will be on good terms with the new US administration, adding that he shares the same vision as president-elect Donald Trump regarding combating terrorism. He said that there will be more cooperation in terms of exchanging experiences.

Originally set to resume in the first quarter of 2017, Al-Sisi said that the ongoing suspension of direct flights from Russia to Egypt cannot be described as “strange”, but he rather blamed Russia for not fulfilling its promise.

 

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