Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egyptians Rally Behind ‘State Stabilization’ Initiative | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A security personnel stands guards during Pope Francis’ visit, in Cairo, Egypt April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Cairo – A new initiative launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to fortify the country against terrorism has drawn large popular support, in parallel with a presidential order to initiate large investment projects in the country’s two largest areas on the northeastern and northwestern borders.

The Egyptian president announced the “State Stabilization Initiative” last week, during a youth conference, which calls for countering extremism and subversive ideas.

Egypt’s political parties, organizations, and television stations have widely welcomed the initiative, which comes in the wake of difficult security and economic conditions.

In remarks to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Maj. Gen. Adel Al-Omdeh, adviser at Nasser Higher Military Academy in Cairo, said: “The current situation really requires presenting challenges and threats facing the Egyptian state, in addition to their causes and implications.”

For his part, Brigadier Samir Ragheb, head of the Arab Institute for Strategic Studies, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the latest Egyptian measures represented “a real beginning to confront terrorist threats.”

Recent measures to counter extremism come within the framework of the commitment of the Arab Quartet, which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, to fighting terrorism, drying up its sources and combating hate speech.

An official at the Egyptian presidency said the “State Stabilization” initiative was part of a package of security and economic procedures adopted by Sisi several days ago, which include the establishment of a national council to confront terrorism and extremism.

In a quick response to the movement calling for confronting terrorism and preserving the state, Egyptian radio and television networks on Tuesday laid out a map of various programs to highlight efforts deployed by state institutions to preserve the homeland, emphasize the principle of citizenship, and raise awareness over terrorist threats.

Egypt has waged war against terrorist groups in the Sinai and several other provinces for nearly four years.

Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in terrorist attacks. The country is also facing threats of infiltration by extremist militants through its western borders with Libya.