Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaks during the inauguration of national projects in Sinai on Tuesday 21 September, 2021.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated on Tuesday that late defence minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy — who passed away earlier today at the age of 85 — "led the country wisely in the most difficult circumstances and played a key role in protecting Egypt."
El-Sisi’s remarks came during the inauguration of a number of national projects for the development of the Sinai Peninsula in an event held in Suez governorate on Tuesday.
The president announced during his speech that Egypt has declared a state of official mourning for the death of Field Marshal Tantawy.
“We had a choice to postpone the openings today, but he [Tanwaty] was a serious man who loved to work, and that is why these openings were not postponed,” El-Sisi said.
Tantawy was acting president of Egypt in his capacity as the chair of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces after the stepping down of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
“This great man was the real reason Egypt [did not] fall at that stage,” El-Sisi said in reference to the turbulent days of 2011-2013.
"When the elections took place and all the indicators were pointing to a certain faction in Egypt winning, he said ‘I will go down in history as the one who handed this country over to this [faction],’ a matter that hurt him a lot, because he was aware of the damage that Egypt would witness as a result of these circumstances,” El-Sisi said.
"Field Marshal Tantawy along with state officials at the time were not involved in the bloodshed witnessed in the events of Mohamed Mahmoud, Maspero, or the Port Said Stadium events and any other conspiracy to tear down the state, El-Sisi stated, adding that his testimony on these issues was respect "a testimony for history."
“I hope that God will reward him well for everything he has accomplished while assuming all the positions he held,” El-Sisi noted.