Egypt’s Sisi seeks to build modern democratic state

Cairo, Feb 13 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday said his main objective was to build a “modern democratic state” through carrying out a number of national projects to improve the economy.

“No one will hinder the path of building, progress, and advancement,” Xinhua quoted Sisi as saying while addressing the newly elected House of Representatives.

He urged the lawmakers to give top priority to education, health and renewal of the religious discourse, stressing that education was a national security issue.

Egypt’s parliament convened its first session on January 10.

Egypt has been without a parliament for about three years, as the last one elected in late 2011, months after the ouster of long-time leader Hosni Mubarak, was dissolved in June 2012 by a court order.

President Sisi had held legislative power till the new parliament was elected.

The new parliament consists of 596 seats, 448 of which are for individuals, 120 for winners from party-based lists and 28 are appointed by the president.

In his speech, Sisi also renewed his call for the international community to cooperate to combat terrorism, deeming it “the danger that threatens the stability of the whole region.”

Egypt has seen an increasing wave of terrorism since the army-led ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in response to mass protests against his rule.

Hundreds of police personnel were killed in the anti-state attacks, mainly in the restive Sinai peninsula.

Dozens of civilians have also been killed in explosions in the capital and some other cities.

Meanwhile, the army in coordination with the police has launched massive anti-terror operations to uproot the hideouts of the terrorists.

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