Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 29 October 2020

UN General Assembly

UNGA 2020: Egypt's Abdel Fattah El Sisi hits out at state supporters of terrorism

Egyptian President has decried actions of Turkey in Libya

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt, speaks in his pre-recorded message to the United Nations General Assembly. UNTV/AP
Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt, speaks in his pre-recorded message to the United Nations General Assembly. UNTV/AP

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has used his UN General Assembly address to speak out against state supporters of terrorism in the Middle East.

In a recorded video message to the online summit, the Egyptian President repeated Cairo’s “red lines” in Libya after renewed Turkish interference in the country, which has been widely condemned by the international community.

Mr El Sisi also called for an end to the destabilisation of Syria and the use of Yemen as a “launch pad” for attacks against its neighbours.

“It is regrettable that the international community continues to turn a blind eye to a number of states that provide support to terrorists, whether by funds and weapons, or by providing a safe haven to them,” he said.

“They also facilitate the transfer of terrorist fighters to conflict zones, especially Libya and Syria."

Mr El Sisi did not mention Turkey by name but Cairo has become increasingly concerned by Ankara’s expansionism.

In June, Egypt said it would intervene in Libya if forces aligned with the Government of National Accord in Tripoli and backed by Turkey encroached on Sirte and nearby Al Jufra.

The UN has welcomed the Cairo declaration, a subsequent Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire in Libya.

“The ramifications of the ongoing crisis are not only confined to Libya but also spill over to effect security, neighbouring countries and international stability,” Mr El Sisi said.

“Egypt is bent on supporting Libyans to rid their country of armed militias and terrorist organisations, and put an end to the blatant interference of some regional parties that deliberately transported foreign fighters to Libya in an effort to fulfil their well-known greed and long-standing colonial illusions."

He also addressed the continuing deadlock in negotiations on Ethiopia's Nile Dam project.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of tension in the Nile River Basin ever since Addis Ababa broke ground on it in 2011.

Egypt fears the project could lead to water shortages and threatened to withdraw from the latest round of discussions.

Mr El Sisi said the Nile Dam was an “existential” issue for Cairo.

“The Nile River must not be monopolised by one state,” he said.

Mr El Sisi voiced frustration that talks between the Egypt, Ethiopia and Sundan, which have involved the US, African Union and World Bank, have not yet borne fruit.

He called for further effort from the international community on the issue.

“We have spent the better part of a decade in negotiations with our brothers in the Sudan and Ethiopia, through which our aim was to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam,” Mr El Sisi said.

“The international community bears the responsibility to urge all parties to reach the desired agreement in a way that meets our mutual interests."

Updated: September 23, 2020 02:17 AM

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