WGS 2023 in Dubai: UAE's support for Egypt was key after the 2011 events, says Al Sisi

Sheikh Mohamed sent ships with fuel and worked with other countries in the region to organise support for the African country

by

Lamya Tawfik

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Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt. Photo: M Shihab
Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt. Photo: M Shihab

Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 5:22 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 5:30 PM

If it weren’t for the support of the UAE and other countries in the GCC, Egypt would have never been able to stand again after 2011, the Egyptian president said on Monday.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt, was speaking at the World Government Summit 2023 in which Egypt is the guest of honour. In a talk attended by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Al Sisi spoke about the challenges the country faced following the political events of 2011 and praised the UAE’s stance in supporting Egypt.

“I tell these stories, not to those who are specialised in knowing how countries run but to people. They need to know,” he said, adding that 2011 cost Egypt $450 billion.

2011 was a momentous year for the country and it was a time of parallel challenges which needed to be tackled at the same time, according to Al Sisi. “The main challenge was the state of despair amongst Egyptians,” he said adding that another one was that of energy – electricity and gas.

“Electricity and transportation were sectors that needed to be worked on simultaneously. Every country has specific circumstances that its leaders understand, and the right solutions are put in place,” he said.

He said that having initiatives that work in favour of the development of the country is key. “If you want to develop like other countries, you can but this is what you need to do: work, work, work, have patience and sacrifice. You will not solve it in a few years,” he told the audience. “If you can’t do everything, don’t leave it all,” he added.

He stressed that with the support of the UAE and other GCC countries, Egypt was able to stand again after 2011. “What I just mentioned wouldn’t have happened without the support of our brothers. Sheikh Mohamed sent ships with fuel to Egypt and worked with other countries in the region to organise support for Egypt,” he said, adding that a country that collapses doesn’t get up again, but Egypt did.

He said that in a meeting yesterday with the UAE president, he asked Sheikh Mohamed to support Syria and he told him that the UAE sends eight planes a day to Syria, so he asked him to send more. “UAE citizens should be proud of their country’s support to Syria,” he said.

He stressed the importance of WGS as a platform for people to listen and learn from one another, adding that a leader of a country is always someone who is ‘holding fire’ in his hands. He said that there’s a lot that Egypt learns from the UAE because the UAE is always ahead.

Over the next three days, from February 13 to 15, more than 20 presidents and 250 government and private sector leaders from more than 150 countries will discuss topics affecting governments around the world during the World Government Summit.

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