Egypt: What are its ambitions after the Revolution?
Colloquium at l’Ecole Militaire – Paris
24 June 2015
First of all, thank you to the organizers of this meeting to have chosen the subject: “Egypt, what are its ambitions after the Revolution?”
Indeed, the people who chose to change the system and leadership on January 25th, 2011 had the ambition that such a change should be done smoothly. Surprisingly, the president at that time, Hosni Mubarak, agreed with Vice-president Omar Soliman’s proposal to leave, making sure that police would not open fire on the crowd and the Republican Guard would not use its weapons.
Mubarak also acted with dignity while being tried in court as any citizen The supreme ambition of the people was expressed on June 30th 2014 when 30 million men and women went to the streets all over the country, insisting on President Morsi’s resignation, as he had made significant errors against the judiciary, the police, the army, and his people, who asked the army to assume power under the authority of Marshall Al Sissi.
Indeed, this is a worthy army and true to its history since 1805 with Muhammad Aly, founder of the dynasty who ruled Egypt till 1952, known as the father of modern Egypt It is worth noting, especially here at the Ecole Militaire, that much of the Egyptian army’s training was conducted to a great degree with help from the superb French military.
After Marshall Al Sissi was elected president of the republic by a large majority, the Egyptian people discovered the president’s ambition combined faith and determination to confront terrorism and reform economic and social policies. In this respect, the government has launched a million-abode housing program dedicated to the poorer classes.
It has also undertaken great projects such as the doubling of the Suez Canal, a project supported by the people who rushed to buy shares in the Suez Canal, reaching 61 billion Egyptian pounds, in order to participate to the financing of the project due to be inaugurated on August 6th in the presence of heads of states from the entire world.
Along a parallel line, the government has had the courage to reduce subsidies, particularly gasoline, a decision that most of previous governments did not dare implement fearing popular discontent.
The government organized an international conference between the 13 to 15th of last march in Sharm El Sheikh to boost the country’s economy and presented projects from different sectors – energy, telecommunications, transport, health, and teaching, including the creation of a new city – to international investors, securing in particular financial support from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, equaling approximately 12 and a half billion dollars.
Also, Egypt reinitiated dialogue with African countries, a dialogue which had been neglected for several years, and organized a conference in Sharm el Sheikh on the 10 and 11th of last June, reuniting heads of states of African countries to reignite trade exchanges with these countries, resulting in signing important agreements.
In that context, I take the opportunity to pay tribute to Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, original founder of Egyptian – African policy.
One year after coming to power, it is still too early to evaluate the policy of development put into motion by President Al Sissi and his government presided by Ibrahim Mehleb. However one true ambition did show results, that is, Egypt has now returned to the concert of nations. Germany, France, Great-Britain, Russia, China and even United States of America once again acknowledge the key role played by Egypt to ensure stability and peace in the Middle East.
Indeed, Egypt, with its people, its police, and army, is the only country in the region capable of leading the fight against terrorism, an activity that is supported worldwide. Thus these countries have expressed their support for Egypt in its fight against terrorism, a threat not only to the Middle-East, but to the whole world.
To conclude, I shall say that Egypt, with its rich 7000 years of history, is keen today to open its doors to all as a sign of welcome to the land of the Pharaohs.