Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Tuesday that fighting terrorism should not be limited to efforts of the armed forces, but rather should include political pressure on countries that support terrorism, calling for the support of Germany in an interview with German radio station Tagesschau.
The interview was recorded during his visit to Germany and mainly focused on the issue of fighting terrorism.
The Egyptian president explained that when talking about terrorism, the Islamic State (IS) group should not be the only concern, but rather every form of extremist ideology, clarifying that this is the reason why fighting terrorism should not be limited to the military.
“It is important that we send a clear and strong message to all the countries that support these organizations; we must develop mechanisms and there must be international cooperation against financing terrorism, radical groups, and extremist ideologies,” Al-Sisi said.
He also explained that the countries that support terrorism are known by all intelligence bodies, adding: “It should be in the interest of the international community to develop clear mechanisms to control these countries so that the money is no longer in the hands of terrorist organizations.”
On 5 June, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and Egypt, among other countries, announced cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar and shutting down air and sea ports for Qatari transports, due to “Qatar’s support of terrorism and intervening with other counties’ policies.” President Al-Sisi did not directly mention Qatar in the interview.
Germany expressed earlier its support for dialogue to solve the issue in the region, whereas Germany’s minister of foreign affairs and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that the tensions between Qatar and other Arab states “could lead to war.”
President Al-Sisi attended the G-20 African Summit in Germany and met with German chancellor Angela Merkel along with several German ministers on the sidelines of the summit, he discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, politics, and security.
The president also met majority leader of the German parliament Volker Kauder and assured him that Egypt’s government was prepared to make use of the strong relationship between their countries to further enhance economic and political agreements. The president said that the economic programme of the Egyptian government aims to apply major reforms to fix economic problems and apply sustainable development.
President Al-Sisi stated that Egypt will continue to fight extremism and work on cutting funding towards such organisations. The pair also discussed different initiatives in the fields of education and technical training.
Additionally, the Egyptian president met with German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, where both sides discussed ways of countering terrorism. The Egyptian president said that the fight against militancy should not be limited to military intervention, but should include other administrative steps like reforming religious rhetoric, improving education, and freezing the assets of its sources.