President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi adressed the nation in a speech Sunday, in which he spoke about steps to deal with the US dollar crisis, asking the Egyptian people to uphold security and protect Egypt’s institutions.
Towards the end of the speech Sisi appeared to stop reading from the text and appealed to the Egyptian people to protect the nation’s security. “There are people trying to affect security and stability. Security and stability, which prevent the innocent from being terrorized again, are not only the responsibility of the state, the Armed Forces and the police, they are all of our responsibility,” the president urged.
He explained there have been attempts to destabilize Egyptian institutions, but that “the forces of evil will not be able to stand against a unified people protecting state institutions.”
Although Sisi didn’t directly address protests planned for April 25, Sinai Liberation Day, against Egypt’s transfer of two islands to Saudi Arabia, he said, “The Armed Forces and state institutions appreciate the importance of preserving national territory. We have not and will not relinquish a single grain of Egyptian soil.”
Sisi also stated he was asking military forces to assist in regulating the cost of basic goods, which have been increasing as a result of the exchange crisis, with the dollar rising against the pound on the black market.
The government will calculate inflation based on a point system and has plans to distribute LE2 million worth of basic commodities across low income areas in the coming month, Sisi promised.
He also stated that the military is working on development projects in Sinai, including 17 industrial projects and 13 agricultural initiatives, adding that they will dig tunnels between Suez and Sinai to transfer water to the Penninsula.
The president emphasized that the state has managed to rebuild its institutions in thirty months and reiterated that it is the duty of the people to protect them.
There have been calls for mass protests on Sinai Liberation Day, following similar demonstrations on April 15, when thousands took to the streets to protest the Red Sea island deal. Protesters described the agreement as the sale of Egyptian land to Saudi Arabia.
Ahead of the April 25 protests dozens were arrested in security sweeps in Alexandria, Cairo, Giza, Gharbiya, Monufiya and Sharqiya.