Arab Spring uprising was ‘ill advised’ says Egypt’s El-Sisi

Egypt’s president has said his country’s 2011 Arab Spring revolt was an ill-advised attempt at change whose chaotic aftermath posed an existential threat to the country. (Wikicommons)
Updated 05 November 2018
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Arab Spring uprising was ‘ill advised’ says Egypt’s El-Sisi

  • El-Sisi had until recently only hinted at his disapproval of the uprising that ended the 29-year rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak
  • Was speaking at an international youth conference in Sharm El-Sheikh

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Egypt’s president has said his country’s 2011 Arab Spring revolt was an ill-advised attempt at change whose chaotic aftermath posed an existential threat to the nation.
Addressing an international youth conference late Sunday, Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi said those behind the revolt had good intentions but had inadvertently “opened the gates of hell.”
El-Sisi had until recently only hinted at his disapproval of the uprising that ended the 29-year rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. In his first outright criticism of the uprising, he said last month it was the “wrong remedy that followed a wrong diagnosis.”
But his comments at the youth forum provided his most detailed assessment of the uprising, which pro-government media routinely demonize as a foreign conspiracy to destroy the country.
The 2011 uprising was led by young, pro-democracy activists, and paved the way for Egypt’s first free and fair elections, which were won by the Muslim Brotherhood whose stalwart Muhammad Mursi was elected president in 2012. His rule proved divisive, and in 2013 El-Sisi, as defense minister, led the military overthrow of Mursi amid mass protests.
His government banned the Brotherhood and designated it a terrorist organization and has been accused of cracking down on dissent.
He said the uprising created a “massive vacuum that only the evil people can fill” and warned against a repeat. He said Egyptians and others in the region would be better off under “not so good” rulers than living through chaos.
“Work, be patient, endure and suffer under the reality that you disapprove of, but don’t ruin your countries because they will never return to what they once were,” he warned.
Since taking office, El-Sisi has slashed costly state subsidies on basic goods and introduced new taxes while spending billions of dollars on infrastructure projects. His economic reforms helped Egypt secure $12 billion in bailout loans from the International Monetary Fund, but have caused a steep rise in the prices of food, fuel and services.
“After all the effort we have done, all that we are hoping for is that we go back to where we were before 2011,” he said.


Turkey unafraid of US sanctions over S-400 deal: Foreign minister

Updated 12 min 14 sec ago
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Turkey unafraid of US sanctions over S-400 deal: Foreign minister

  • US has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to drop the purchase
  • Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over multiple issues

ANKARA: Turkey said Monday it does not fear US sanctions over its decision to buy a Russian missile defense system that has frayed ties between the NATO allies.
The US has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to drop the purchase of the S-400 system, or face sanctions and removal from its F-35 fighter jet program.
“Regardless of whatever sanctions there may be, whatever the messages from America, we’ve bought the S-400,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.
He said Turkey was working on the date for the system’s delivery, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said would be in the first half of July.
“If there’s an attack on Turkey tomorrow, we cannot expect NATO to protect us because NATO’s capacity would only protect 30 percent of Turkey’s airspace,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey will no longer allow other countries to dictate its defense purchases, he said.
Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over multiple issues, including the S-400 deal and US support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Turkey.
Sanctions could cause damage at a time when Turkey’s economy is already struggling.
Its currency lost a third of its value last year, in part due to temporary US sanctions over the detention of an American pastor.
Turkey has plans to buy 100 F-35s, and has lucrative contracts to build parts of the jet.
Erdogan said last week he would use his “good” relationship with US counterpart Donald Trump to defuse the crisis when they meet at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan this week.