"AFP": El-Sisi vows to tackle militants in his second term"
Sunday 03/June/2018 - 01:29 PM
"AFP" news agency:
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi vowed to tackle militants and revive the economy as he was sworn in Saturday for a second four-year term after a wave of arrests. El-Sisi took the presidential oath before a packed Parliament after winning 97 percent of valid votes in March’s presidential election. Fighter jets drew an Egyptian flag in the sky above Cairo and military helicopters flew over the city center as the president made his way to Parliament، where he was greeted with a 21-gun salute. “Together we face economic، social and political challenges and their negative effects on all aspects of life،” he said. Speaking at a ceremony، El-Sisi called for “consensus” and unity. “Only those who have opted for violence، terrorism and extremism will be excluded from common spaces،” he said. Before addressing public officials and religious authorities، the president led a minute’s silence for the Egyptians who had died “for the country.” Egypt has been hit by a series of deadly militant attacks in recent years. Militans have killed hundreds of soldiers، policemen and civilians، mainly in the northern Sinai peninsula but also elsewhere in Egypt. “Together we fought brutal terrorism that sought to undermine the unity of our homeland،” he said. Seven years after the January 2011 uprising، El-Sisi will face two major challenges in his second term: Security and economic recovery. Since Feb. 9، the army has been conducting a vast military campaign to “cleanse” the country of terrorists. The fighting has so far killed at least 200 militants and 35 soldiers، according to official figures. Since taking office، El-Sisi has enacted a series of reforms aimed at stabilizing an economy hit by security threats and runaway inflation. In November 2016، the IMF granted Egypt a $12 billion loan over three years، conditional on reforms including the adoption of a value-added tax، energy subsidy cuts and floating the pound. GDP growth has increased in the past year from 4.2 percent to 5.2 percent. In the next four years، the president is expected to continue pursuing major infrastructure projects including the construction of a new capital in the eastern desert. El-Sisi won his first term in 2014 with an overwhelming majority of the vote. Egyptian media has reported that El-Sisi will likely reshuffle his Cabinet in the coming days.