President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has called on expatriate Egyptians to visit Egypt more often, to increase tourism, saying “if 20% or 30% of you visit, tourism will be refreshed”.
The President made the call on Friday to the Egyptian delegation accompanying him on his visit to Germany. He also outlined to the delegation his plan to create a ministry for small projects in Berlin.
In a meeting with public figures accompanying him to Berlin for support, he told Egyptians abroad: “Our eyes are on you, with you, and we love you.”
He added that a study was conducted in Egypt, with results showing “we have an army that can impose stability and Egypt can be invested in”, he said.
Al-Sisi added that if people had not taken to the streets to bring change on 30 June and the military had not been “obliged” to interfere, “it would have been a problem”.
“This country was in absolute deterioration, it was on the edge, and while it was falling someone saved it and this is what God wanted,” Al-Sisi said in reference to himself.
“God did not want Egypt to fall and it remained, with the help of God, intact,” Al-Sisi said. “God created me a doctor to diagnose the case, he created me this way, knowing the truth and describing it… it is a humanitarian interest not only a national one.”
After the press conference with Al-Sisi and German chancellor Angela Merkel, an Egyptian journalist chanted “Down with military rule”, amidst chants of “long live Egypt” amongst Al-Sisi’s supporters. The incident made various international news headlines.
Al-Sisi commented on the incident stating: “This is an Egyptian girl, even if we disagree with her. I wanted to tell her come, the issue isn’t like that at all…the country was getting lost.”
He added a word of appreciation to the delegation accompanying him, stating that their presence in Berlin was “a message to everyone…we need to tell everyone that what happened in our country was an accomplishment.”
Al-Sisi said his ascendance to power was not a “jump on authority”, adding: “I am here on a national mission.”
He added this was for the sake of the whole region, because “God wanted Egypt to be the pillar on which everyone leans… yes there are events in Sinai… but we are getting better, we were patient and we will be patient.”
He said the country will not develop “the way we want it to until we get rid of subsidies”, adding the country needs to find a real way for the poor to “remain among us… how do I make those who have pay and those who don’t have pay.”
Al-Sisi also promised that, by next August, Egypt will have a station to transform liquefied gas.
He also promised that parliamentary elections will take place before the end of next year, and that elections did not take place last March as planned, because an Egyptian court decided against it.
Al-Sisi thanked his supporters abroad and “the 30 June block”.
In reference to foreign critiques of the situation in Egypt, Al-Sisi said: “When I came here, they couldn’t really absorb it but, by the end of the visit, they will know that what happened in Egypt was the Egyptian will.”
There are two “dangerous” ideas facing the Middle East region, Al-Sisi said. The first is that changing the reality in Egypt and destroying its institutions is the way to achieve democracy. The second is the idea that Egypt will not develop except as an Islamic state. Neither idea is right, he said.