Egypt’s Sisi calls on Lebanese ‘patriots’ to distance their country from regional disputes

CAIRO – 9 August 2020: “Mr. President calls on faithful patriots in Lebanon, regardless of their positions, to distance their country from regional disputes and conflicts,” Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi, few days after a terrifying blast rocked the capital, Beirut, and left dozens killed and thousands injured.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi took part on Sunday in a virtual donors’ conference co-hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations, with the aim of obtaining aid for Beirut.

During his speech, he called on Lebanese people to “focus their efforts on strengthening the Lebanese national state institutions and meeting the aspirations of the Lebanese people, through implementing compulsory economic reforms, which can no way be adjourned.”

These economic reforms will qualify Lebanon to “obtain the trust of international financial institutions and international support, which would positively reflect on Lebanon’s path toward achieving stability, development and prosperity,” the President added, according to the spokesman.

Sisi’s remarks come as angry protesters in Lebanon have taken to streets, clashing with security forces and protesting rampant “corruption”. As a result of violent protests, Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad stepped down.

The conference was held to solicit aid to the main partners in Lebanon and coordinate emergency aid to the international community in the face of the repercussions of the Beirut blast on August 4, the Presidential spokesman said.

President Sisi, during his speech, has expressed appreciation to his French counterpart for the initiative, which has a “great importance, in the light of these critical circumstances facing sisterly Lebanon,” the spokesman added.

The tragic blast took place on August 4 when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port exploded causing more than 150 deaths and 6,000 injuries. Beirut governor stated that the value of the ports damages is $15 billion. The explosion also caused the destruction of surrounding neighborhoods.