Sisi: Egypt seized $400m worth of explosives

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi announced on Tuesday that the state has recently seized 1,000 tons of explosives worth $ 400 million, Ahram Online reported. He noted that a lot of money has been funnelled to terrorist groups.

Al-Sisi’s remarks came in his speech during a celebration on Tuesday at the Police Academy marking the National Police Day, where he praised and honoured the policemen who were killed in recent years.

The Egyptian president pointed out that Egypt has been fighting a 40-month war fought by “men who took the responsibility to protect Egyptians”, referring to policemen.

He stated that Egypt is “fighting a vicious war and the whole world knows that it is fighting it alone”, warning that the war against the country aims to divide it; he also revealed about previous attempts in 2011 to create a division between the police and army and between the people and the army.

The Egyptian leader called on the Egyptian people to support the police and all government institutions.

Egypt has been battling a militant insurgency in Northern Sinai, which has killed hundreds of security forces in recent years. Attacks have reached further than Northern Sinai, and have also occurred in the capital city.

In December, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a church attached to Cairo’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in an attack where 28 civilians were killed.

In Tuesday’s remarks, Al-Sisi said he had received a phone call from the new US President Donald Trump, who asked about the state of Egypt’s economy. “I told him that for 40 months we have been fighting alone”, he said.

In a phone conversation on Monday the two presidents discussed the war against terrorism, Ahram Online reported, quoting an Egyptian presidential spokesman announced. Egypt receives $1.3 billion in military aid from the US every year.

On the Egyptian economy, the president, in his speech, described the economic development as another “uphill battle the country is fighting”.  “There is no reform without pain”, Al-Sisi stressed on Tuesday, defending an economic reform plan which Egypt has embarked on since 2014.

Last November, Egypt won International Monetary Fund approval for a three-year, $12 billion bailout program aimed at reviving a struggling economy, bringing down public debt and controlling inflation while seeking to protect the poor, according to Reuters.

Since the IMF bailout was approved, Egypt has introduced a number of recent fiscal reforms, including subsidy cuts and the introduction of new taxes, aimed at stemming a growing budget deficit. The central bank freely floated the Egyptian pound with the aim of alleviating a dollar shortage.

Source: Middle East Monitor