“I always say we should not disagree” and we should all unify behind a single cause, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in a speech Saturday.
The president announced, during a speech at an Iftar held by the Long Live Egypt fund, that the fund is undertaking a plan to eliminate hepatitis-C disease from the populace. He also said that the military will provide free treatment to victims of the disease who enlist in the military, or any of its educational institutions. The fund is also undertaking repairs for Egypt’s sewage problem in 4,000 villages, according to a statement from the presidency.
President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi attended the Iftar along with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, a number of ministers, and other state officials. Also in attendance were Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayeb and Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The event was presented to the public initiatives run by the fund, and urged people to participate and work with the state to develop Egypt. Another initiative the fund is overseeing is the development of the villages in most need in Egypt.
Alongside this, the fund is in charge of addressing Egypt’s extensive informal settlements, aiming to build communities with acceptable living standards to which slum residents can be relocated. It is also in charge of the “Egyptian Countryside Project”, which incorporates a government plan (in progress) to reclaim one million acres of farmland for agriculture.
The fund was established by the Central Bank of Egypt last June, accepting donations to support the Egyptian economy. The fund has been declared to be in charge of projects “of high priority”.
“Be careful, look, see [the world around you]; why didn’t this happen to Egypt?” Al-Sisi said during the Iftar, in reference to the turmoil in a number of countries in the region. “This was meant not to happen. God willed to save [Egypt], through the Egyptian people.”
Al-Sisi further pointed to some topics or instances in which some “disagree, get mixed up. This isn’t good”. Al-Sisi added that all Egyptians must work together, for each other and for the higher interest of the nation.
Gamal El-Garhy, one of the businessmen attending the Iftar, told Daily News Egypt: “Every Egyptian should think of how they can invest in, support and serve their country.” He added that businessmen with new ideas should formally present them to the state, or they should invest in projects proposed by the government.
Although the event was focused on the economy, the president did not shy away from making political comments. He made a joke referencing electricity cuts under Morsi, and how the hall they were in was “very well lit”. He also pointed to the New Suez Canal as a major achievement of his regime.
Al-Sisi renewed a pledge to have an elected parliament before the end of 2015, saying that he wishes it would have happened sooner, and also urged citizens to vote with caution and awareness, and to make decisions in the interest of the nation.
He commented on concerns regarding imprisoned youth, and said that a few days ago a number of young prisoners were released, marking the fourth set of pardons this year. He declared that this is still not enough and that the government continues to review cases over and over.