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National Defence Council discusses Armed Forces’ 2016/17 budget - Daily News Egypt

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National Defence Council discusses Armed Forces’ 2016/17 budget

Al-Sisi headed the meeting in which an array of topics was discussed including terrorism in Sinai

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi led a meeting on Sunday with members of the National Defence Council to discuss the 2016/17 budget for the Armed Forces.

The meeting was attended by members of the council, including Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and other top army officials.

The Armed Forces budget is exempted from any type of auditing before it is discussed in parliament.

According to a statement from the office of the president, Al-Sisi reviewed “the plan of securing the country in the upcoming period” ahead of Ramadan, which starts on Monday, along with the start of nationwide secondary school final exams.

The president instructed full cooperation between state institutions to prevent any attempts to monopolise goods or increase prices.

The council, headed by Al-Sisi, also reviewed the security situation in Sinai and efforts to counter terrorism and means to further such efforts until terrorism is permanently expelled.

Last month, parliament approved the extension of the state of emergency in North Sinai for an additional three months, one day after a delegation of parliament members met with Sobhi there.

North Sinai has been under a state of emergency since the term of interim president Adly Mansour, who came into office following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi. The state of emergency was last extended in January 2016.

Since August 2013, clashes between the Armed Forces and Islamic State-affiliated militants in North Sinai have increased.

Earlier on Sunday, Al-Sisi affirmed while meeting with Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari and Sunni Endowment president Diwan Abdul Latif that Egypt supports the unity and sovereignty of Iraq over all territories.

Al-Sisi added that Egypt recognises the grave challenges Iraq is facing, “namely terrorism and extremism”. Attempts to provoke division among Iraqis from different sects and ethnicities must be prevented so as to uphold national interests and citizenship, the president said.

Al-Jaafari emphasised the solid relations between the two countries and their peoples and stressed the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation. He also presented the Iraqi army’s efforts in countering terrorism.

He also lauded Egypt’s key role as a cornerstone for security and stability in the Arab world and as a supporter of Arab unity and solidarity, in addition to its efforts to combat terrorism and realise development.

Both sides reviewed security and political developments in Iraq as well as ongoing counter-terrorism efforts as well as the fight against Islamic State (IS).

Iraqi officials added that IS propaganda is spreading false news about the process of liberating Iraqi cities, in order to increase division among Iraqis. They also affirmed that all Iraqis stand united in the face of terrorism and stressed the important role of Al-Azhar in combating extremism, as a notable institution that commands the respect of the entire Islamic world.

Civilians must be protected during the liberation of Iraqi cities, said Al-Sisi. He stated that Egypt welcomes strengthening cooperation in various fields to support Iraq.

The Iraqi army is fighting IS militias in order to restore the city of Falluja, which is considered a stronghold of the notorious extremist group in Iraq.


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