Sisi tells Egyptians to 'be patient' in phone call with TV show host

Tuesday 08-03-2016 01:42 PM

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in a ceremony held in Cairo for the launch of the country's sustainable development strategy on 24 Feb. 2016 - Photo from CBC Extra channel

CAIRO, Mar. 8 (Aswat Masriya) - "I appreciate your concern for Sinai but you don't have enough information about what is happening in Sinai," Egyptian President AbdelFattah al-Sisi told TV host Amr Adeeb in an on-air phone-call on Monday night.

Adeeb had been speaking about Sinai before the president made the call and proceeded to list his development plans for the Peninsula. The plans are set to take a year or a year and a half and are to cost EGP 10 billion (around $1.277 billion), he said.

The plans include building more infrastructure projects, an airport, basins for fish farming, and more, he added.  

Addressing Egyptian television viewers, Sisi said, "I ask you not to waste the chance and be patient, we are talking about 20 months, not 20 years."

"I want to assure you," the president stated, "we are not only dealing you, we are dealing with God whom we will meet on judgement day and I will tell Him that I ran and tried to build for them and tried to develop [the country] for them and as much as I could, I did."

In a February speech held in Cairo to launch the country’snew sustainable development strategy, Sisi told Egyptians, “Do not listen to anyone else but me,” and he vowed to “wipe off the face of the earth” those who want to “bring down Egypt."

The president has been criticised previously on social media for what critics see as patronising speeches.

Sinaiis at the epicenter of an insurgencthat has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of then-President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule. Most attacks take place in North Sinai and target security forces.

This is not the first time that Sisi has addressed Egyptians through an on-air phone call during a talk show. In early February, Sisi spoke, also to Adeeb, in another live phone interview, where he specifically addressed the demands of the football fan group Ultras Ahlawy, prosoping to restart an investigation into the deadly incident in which over 70 football fans were killed in Port Said in 2012. 

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