29 September 2023 09:27 AM
Riyadh, 21/5/2017

Statement by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi at Arab-Islamic-American Summit

Tuesday، 23 May 2017 - 11:46 AM

 My Brother Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdel Aziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines and King of Saudi Arabia, 

Your Excellency President Donald Trump of the United States of America, 

Your Majesty, Highness and Excellency, 

Allow me in the beginning to convey to you the greetings of Egypt with its Muslims and Copts, its time-honored civilization throughout thousands of years, its land of Islam, Christianity and Judaism and its outstanding contributions to human history and science so that it became an epitome of moderate thought, tolerance and enlightenment. Our meeting today, which has a political significance, is invested with a symbolic value which is clear to everybody. This meeting reflects our unwavering determination to renew partnership between the Arab and Islamic countries and the United States of America. This way our meeting is cutting off the road to the illusions of advocates of the conflict of civilizations who cannot imagine the relation among peoples except a conflict where one party should destroy the other. They cannot realize the genuine meaning of the diversity of civilizations and cultures which enriches life and human experience through holding high the values of cooperation, tolerance and accepting others and respecting their right to differ. 

You may agree with me that we all have a real stake in entrenching these human values. We also have a basic role to play in standing up to the causes of division, conflict and extremism particularly the danger of terrorism which became posing an immense threat to the peoples of the whole world. 

Your Majesty, Highness and Excellency, 

Confronting the danger of terrorism and uprooting it requires, along with security and military measures, a comprehensive approach including the political, ideological and development dimensions. And the real question that poses itself and needs a serious and clear answer is: How could we activate this comprehensive approach on the ground and on which bases? 

Allow me to present four necessary elements in this regard: 

First: talking about confronting terrorism in a comprehensive way means confronting all terrorist organizations without discrimination. There is no room for restricting this confrontation to standing up to one or two terrorist organizations as terrorist groups are becoming active through a diabolical and cancerous network where they are connected with each other through several means in most of the world countries including through the ideological background, funding and military, intelligence and security coordination. Therefore there is no room for reducing this confrontation to only one theater of operations and disregarding the other. To succeed in uprooting the danger of terrorism we have to stand up to all terrorist organizations in a comprehensive way at the same time and on all fronts. Within this context, you are all aware that Egypt is waging on daily basis a relentless war against terrorist organizations in North Sinai. We achieve victories and attain progress steadily. We are also keen on controlling the pace and scale of confrontation so that terrorism is uprooted with the least possible losses while maintaining the lives of civilians of the sons of our great people. 

Our battle is part of the global war against terrorism. We are committed to defeating the terrorist organizations and we are keen on extending all support and partnership to all our partners in the battle against these organizations everywhere. 

The second element is that a comprehensive confrontation of terrorism requires standing up to all aspects of the phenomenon of terrorism regarding financing, arming and political and ideological support as the terrorist is not only that man who carries a weapon but also that who train, finance and arm him and provide for him the political and ideological cover. 

Let me talk to you frankly and ask a question: Where are the safe havens that are available for the terrorist organizations to train their fighters, treat their injured and supply them with logistics and fighters? Who are purchasing from them the natural resources which they control such as oil? Who is collaborating with them through drug and antiquities trafficking? From where do they get their financial contributions? How do they have an access to media outlets that accepted to turn into a propaganda mouthpiece for terrorist organizations? 

Anybody who is involved in these acts is an essential partner in terrorism. Regrettably, there are some countries which are involved in supporting and financing terrorist organizations and providing safe havens for them. Also, there are countries which refuse to share the information and databases they have about foreign terrorist fighters even with the Interpol.

Your Majesty, Highness and Excellency, 

The third element of the Egyptian vision on confronting terrorism is ending the capability of these organizations to recruit new fighters through a global handling at the ideological and intellectual levels. The battle against terrorism is an intellectual one in the first place. Successful confrontation of the terrorist organizations should include paralyzing their ability to recruit and attract sympathizers via erroneous interpretations of religious teachings that steer them away from their true tolerant purposes and swerve them to achieve political gains. 

You may remember that I have floated two years ago an initiative for rectifying the religious discourse that would lead to a comprehensive intellectual revolution that help show the genuine nature of the tolerant Islamic religion and would also help prevent attempts for manipulating religion to spread warped interpretations and pretexts for crimes that have no room in our creed and our religious teachings. 

I am following up the implementation of this initiative with the great religious institutions in Egyptatop of which comes Al Azhar Al Sharif with what it represents of being a term of reference for moderate and tolerant Islam and in cooperation with intellectual leaders in the Arab and Islamic worlds. I have all confidence that this aspect is not less in importance than field confrontations to uproot terrorism. 

Your Majesty, Highness and Excellency, 

Last but not least, we have to admit that the precondition necessary for providing a fertile environment for terrorist organizations is dismantling the national State institutions and their instability in our Arab region. It is not secret to you that we have confronted over the past few years systematic attempts that are financed in a wide scale to dismantle the institutions of our countries and to fling the region into a destructive vacuum that provided an optimal environment for the spread of terrorist organizations and sapping our peoples in ethnic and sectarian conflicts.

Filling in the vacuum in which terrorism is growing and spreading requires exerting all efforts for restoring and enhancing the unity, independence and efficiency of the national State institutions in the Arab world including meeting the aspirations and fulfilling the will of peoples to achieve the State's progress through promoting the process of political, economic and social reform, adhering to the criteria of rational governance, respecting human rights and establishing the concepts of the State of law and citizenship along with respecting the woman and empowering young people. 

Throughout the past few years, Egypt has presented a historic model to be followed in restoring our national State institutions in a peaceful and civilized way through activating the overwhelming popular will which rejected all attempts to grab the time-honored Egyptian State and sap its national identity that was molded throughout history. 

The Egyptian people, after restoring their State, are maintaining their march of reconstructing and enhancing the efficiency of their national institutions. They are moving ahead day after another along the track of political, economic and social reform. Egypt is fully supporting all efforts that are aimed at reaching settlements to the crises of the region in a way that would maintain the unity and sovereignty of the national States and preserve their territorial integrity and protect them against the powers of extremism and sectarian divisions. Egypt also totally rejects all attempts for interference in the internal affairs of the Arab and Islamic countries or for inciting and instigating sectarian seditions which constitute a fertile environment for the growth of terrorism and destruction of the national State. 

Let me tell you frankly that our efforts for fighting and uprooting terrorism could not be successful and be a tangible reality except through settling the Palestinian issue via a just, comprehensive and final solution that is based on the two-state principle and the relevant terms of reference of international legitimacy in a way that creates a  new reality for all the peoples of the region where they would enjoy prosperity and peace together with undermining all pretexts used by terrorists to justify their obnoxious crimes. 

Your Majesty, Highness and Excellency, 

I have wanted to share with you the four elements on which the Egyptian vision for uprooting terrorism is based out of my faith that it is the major threat that is facing all of us and that confronting terrorism on the basis of these four elements should constitute a foundation for a new phase of cooperation among our countries and peoples. I would like also to express my appreciation for the insight of President Trump who floated since the beginning of his term in office a decisive policy for dealing with terrorist challenges. He confirmed this policy before us today. I do not have the least doubt that the United States is capable to contribute to achieving the required quantum progress at the international level regarding the implementation of a comprehensive strategy which I addressed its four elements today so that a clear plan of action be outlined with a specific time frame that helps uproot terrorism and ends its funding and arming and deprives its networks from their safe havens. This could be achieved through confronting in a viable way all trends that are seeking to market themselves as political entities and work under the cloak of these entities while they are mere natural incubators of terrorists in a bid to infiltrate into societies and seize the opportunity to undermine the popular will and practice their exclusionist and extremist policies. 

Egypt will remain having a leading role in establishing peace and opening up to the various peoples and cultures. The Egyptian people will remain prompt in extending the hand of cooperation and interaction to all friends and partners in the region and the whole world at large. 

May Allah guide us to achieve the welfare for our peoples. 

Thank you

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