Sisi calls for joint Arab force to tackle regional challenges

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday called for a unified Arab force to confront regional challenges and threats of militancy.

PTI| Updated: Feb 23, 2015, 01:55 AM IST

Cairo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday called for a unified Arab force to confront regional challenges and threats of militancy.

Sisi, in a televised speech, in reference to recent airstrikes it carried out against Islamic State group targets in Libya, said the Egyptian army is not an aggressor and does not invade foreign territory but only responds to attacks against it.

"How could I go to the Coptic Cathedral to extend my condolences when the Egyptian army hasn't avenged the attacks?" he asked in the recorded speech aired today.

He said it is becoming more pressing to create a unified Arab force to face the challenges confronting the region.

Sisi said that Egypt hit 13 Islamic State targets in Libya following the IS killing of 21 Christian Egyptian last week.

The President said that security forces are making a lot of effort to regain full control of the restive Sinai region.

"Egypt is on the right path despite the terrorism it faces," he said.

Sisi thanked French President?Francois Hollande following the recent completion of an arms deal.

He said?that?the fourth generation warfare uses many means to destabilise Egypt and the region, including spreading rumours and waging psychological war.

Sisi said?he?is grateful to Saudi Arabia, the UAE?and Kuwait for their important support following the 30 June?2013?protests that toppled Islamist president Mohamed?Morsi.

Sisi also announced that some prisoners will be released in the next few days.