Harming Egypt like harming us: King
Riyadh invites countries to take part in donors conference for Cairo
RIYADH – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Tuesday hailed the election of Egypt’s ex-army chief Abdel Fatah El-Sisi to the presidency as a “historic day,” calling for a donors conference to help Egypt through its economic troubles.
Sisi’s sweeping win with 96.9 percent of the vote represents a “historic day and a new phase for Egypt,” the King said in a cable of congratulations carried by the Saudi Press Agency. “On a historic day and a new phase for the march of the Islamic and Arab Egypt, we are pleased to congratulate you with the trust reposed in you by the people of Egypt with their hopes, aspirations and dreams for a better future.”
The King noted that the people of Egypt has suffered chaos in the past created by some short-sighted people who called it a bright future but it was really chaos and mysterious fate that targeted the people and their security and stability.
King Abdullah said the country’s next phase entails great responsibility from every Egyptian so as to overcome all obstacles and difficulties in achieving the security of the country, which is the pillar of stability for the people of Egypt.
“To the brothers and friends of Egypt … I invite all to a donors conference … to help it overcome its economic crisis,” King Abdullah said.
He said any country that did not contribute to Egypt’s future despite having the ability to do so would “have no future place among us.”
The King also urged “brothers and friends to avoid meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs,” warning that harming Egypt would amount to “harming Islam, Arabism and Saudi Arabia.”
He also urged Sisi to open up to the opposition, encouraging him to “accept the other opinion through a national dialogue with all parties whose hands have not been stained by the blood of the innocent.”
Riyadh has pledged billions of dollars in aid to Egypt’s new authorities. It pledged $5 billion in aid to Cairo, with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates offering a combined $7 billion.
Sisi on Tuesday urged his countrymen to work to restore stability and achieve “freedom” and “social justice,” in a speech after he was declared winner of last week’s election. Sisi’s supporters celebrated the moment, gathering by the thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere. Fireworks could be heard downtown and in other parts of the capital.