President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi celebrated Monday the 42nd anniversary of the 6th of October War with Israel, with the attendance of his Tunisian counterpart, high ranking officers from the armed forces, and the cabinet.
He gave a speech in the Military Academy, where he affirmed the role of Saudi Arabia in serving the Hajj pilgrims and added that the Kingdom deserves all the appreciation, not only in the Hajj season. He added that no other country is fit to organise the religious rite.
The president further mourned the dead pilgrims in Mina. He added that during the diplomatic meeting in the UN, the international community affirmed the need to fight terrorism.
The celebrations also saw a military parade, where army helicopters and Special Forces personnel performed combat strategies. The event also included an honouring ceremony for the families of dead army officers and soldiers. The programme also included F16 fighter jets flying in the space of the celebrations.
Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi spoke at the event, asserting that the October War “restored the Sinai Peninsula and confirmed the will of free Egypt.” He also praised the men of the armed forces, who restored the dignity of Egyptians.
He added that the victory will remain as an example of how the “population united with the armed forces, acting as one of Egypt’s’ symbols of nationalism”.
Sobhi also said the armed forces are actively participating in development activities in all parts of Egypt, with all its resources.
6 October is one of Egypt’s most important dates. In addition to being a national holiday, it is perceived as one of the essential pillars of Egyptian nationalism.
The country celebrates its symbolic victory over Israel and the crossing of the Suez Canal, which was taken by force on 5 June 1967.
The national holiday usually includes military parades, speeches by state officials, and aerial military shows by the Egyptian Air Force.
Also on Sunday, Al-Sisi met with his Tunisian counterpart Béji Caïd Essebsi, where he confirmed the need enhance efforts to counter terrorism.
The visit marks the Tunisian president’s first to Egypt since being elected last year.
Al-Sisi affirmed the close relations between the two countries, and praised the results of the15th Egyptian-Tunisian High Committee meeting in Tunisia last month, which was attended by former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb, who signed 16 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs). The programmes signed covered numerous sectors, including research, health, economics, and media. During Mehleb’s visit, Essebsi accepted an invitation from President Al-Sisi to visit Egypt.
During the Sunday meeting, the two presidents also discussed the importance of using religious discourse in the fight against extremist ideology. They also condemned the recent ‘violations’ in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been witnessing heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
As for the situation in Libya, the two presidents expressed their hopes to see a “peace agreement” between disputing sides. They also hoped to see a “political solution” in Syria, through which the demands of the Syrian people are achieved.
Essebsi, 88, was declared winner in December 2014 of the run-off presidential elections in Tunisia, over his opponent, interim president Moncef Marzouki. After his victory, Al-Sisi confirmed Egypt’s full support for Tunisia and its willingness to enhance cooperation between the two countries. Al-Sisi added that he hopes for “a new era of solidarity and Arab co-operation”.
Essebsi held top positions under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and his predecessor Habib Bourguiba. He was an interim prime minister after the revolution, but remained in office for only approximately 10 months before new interim president Marzouki took over after being elected, and appointed a prime minister from the then-dominant Islamist party Ennahda.