CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi addressed the Egyptian people in a statement marking the 68th anniversary of the July 1952 Revolution, stressing that “time has demonstrated the nobility of the goals of the revolution.”
El-Sisi extended his “sincere greetings to the symbol of the revolution” — former Egyptian presidents Mohamed Naguib and Gamal Abdel-Nasser.
“The days and years pass carrying events and memories that remain glued in the minds of the people . . . generation after generation and the history of Egypt abound in the glories of those events that we use as inspiration. July 23 1952 remains one of the most important days of our glory and one of the most prominent moments of our pride. As the 68th anniversary of this glorious revolution arrives, we recall our people’s struggle for freedom,” the president said.
“Our celebration of the glorious July revolution has always been an occasion in which we derive determination to achieve the aspirations of our people and their hopes for a bright future for themselves and for future generations, those generations who have the right to live a decent life in a secure, stable and prosperous country,” he said.
“In the spirit of the July Revolution and its goals, the country is continuing to implement a comprehensive strategic vision and unique development to build a strong and advanced homeland in all fields by setting up major national projects in all parts of the country and promoting work values and modern science and its approaches in all aspects of our lives. All this with the aim to help the Egyptian face challenges and take from his ancient legacy as a starting point toward achieving everything that he aspires to in the shortest possible time,” the president said.
“Just as the generation of the July revolution was on a date with destiny, God has determined that this generation face challenges that Egypt has not gone through in its recent history. The threats to our national security make us more eager to possess the comprehensive and influential ability to preserve the rights of the people.
“You may be aware of the extreme dangers of high sensitivity currently surrounding the country and requiring that all Egyptians be confident in their abilities to pass through crises in a way that preserves Egypt’s security and guarantees Egyptians their right to life in a stable homeland and a nation that seeks to value cooperation, construction and peace which are the basis for human relations among all peoples.”
Al-Azhar, Islam’s seat of learning, and the church also issued two separate statements in celebration of the July revolution, highlighting the need to confront the threats facing Egypt’s national security.
Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb stressed the need to be aware of the challenges facing Egypt and join hands for the sake of the nation, and to put the nation’s interest above any individual interest.
El-Tayeb praised Egypt’s constant concern for peaceful solutions as a firm doctrine of the Egyptian armed forces, asking God to protect Egypt, Libya and the Arab nation from all harm.
Egyptian churches in their various denominations declared their support for the Egyptian state, the political leadership and the armed forces in facing the challenges facing the region to preserve the state. The General Milli Council and the Coptic Endowments Authority of the Orthodox Church issued a statement declaring their support for El-Sisi’s position in support of the Libyan people and their struggle against the “Turkish colonizer.”
“Members and deputies of the General Council and the Coptic Endowments Authority support the courageous stance taken by President El-Sisi to support the Libyan people in their struggle against the Turkish colonizer and to protect the borders of Western Egypt. At the same time, they pray for the safety of each of the brave soldiers of Egypt’s army, and never forget how the Egyptian army took revenge on the martyrs of the Egyptian Copts who were martyred by the terrorist groups in Libya,” the churches’ statement said.
A number of political experts stressed the issue of unification of all state bodies in the face of the dangers posed to Egyptians.
“Ethiopia and Libya are two sides of the same coin, and two issues that are equally important for Egypt,” political expert Hani Assal said.
“There is no priority for one issue over the other. The first is a water security issue, the second is a border security issue and the two are national security issues, a struggle for survival, and life or death for Egypt and its people,” Assal said.
Assal said that there was no difference “between those who plan to kill Egyptians hoping to gain control of the south, and those who plan to kill them with weapons from the side of the Islamic State.”
“Those who assume that we have to fear and that war is difficult must remember that we have been in war since 2011, and that thousands of martyrs, both military and civilian, have already fallen and we are ready to provide more, rather than give up our rights,” Assal said.
“(Egypt will remain) in between wars, threats, conflicts and conspiracies forever, and we will remain a joint force, and we will come out of all of this safe and secure, God willing, and modern and far back history attests to that,” Al-Ahram writer Hagar Salah said.
“We will continue to back up our leaders and our army and keep our trust in them, and have them depend on us. We do not fear wars, nor are we shaken by psychological wars, nor provocations, frustrations, conspiracies or betrayals,” Salah said.
Egypt is currently facing a two-pronged foreign policy crisis. Egypt fears Ethiopia’s Renaissance dam will greatly reduce its access to water. In neighboring Libya, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA), who are supported by Turkey, are reportedly planning to launch an attack on the port city of Sirte and Al-Jufra, which El-Sisi has called “red lines” in terms of Egypt’s security.