Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi October 27, 2014 (Reuters)
Ahead of his visit to Tokyo Sunday, Egypt’s president talked cooperation and regional crises – warning a collapse in Libya could allow terrorist groups to use the country as a ‘springboard’.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi aims to send 100,000 Egyptian students to study in Japan, he told Japanese news outlet The Asahi Shimbun.
The interview was conducted last week in Cairo but published on Saturday.
El-Sisi said that he hopes Egypt could benefit from cooperation with Japan in education, saying that Tokyo’s educational system “stresses discipline.”
During his trip to Japan, where he is expected to arrive later on Sunday following a two-day visit to Kazakhstan, El-Sisi is set to meet with senior officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito.
Egypt’s president will also meet the head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo’s governor, and will give a speech in front of the Japanese parliament on Monday.
“Gravest danger for all humanity”
During his interview with The Asahi Shimbun, El-Sisi said the US-led international coalition against IS group in Syria and Iraq “has been ongoing for more than one year, but [IS group] activities has not declined.”
He described the spread of terrorist groups such as the IS group as the “gravest danger for all humanity.”
Egypt supports the US-led coalition against the IS group but has not taken part in its military operations.
Some of Egypt’s regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Jordan are part of the US-led coalition.
On the Libya crisis, the president said “If Libya collapses it could act as a springboard for terrorism to expand to neighboring countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and even outside to Europe.”
“Our strategy is to protect our own soil – we will continue our fight against terrorism and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any other states,” El-Sisi added, ruling out any Egyptian military intervention in Libya.
More than years after the fall of Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is deeply fractured, with a self-declared government in Tripoli and an internationally recognized government in the east – each backed by coalitions of former rebels and militias.
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