President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi while addressing the cadets in the Military Academy HQ earlier Thursday. Photo : Egyptian Presidency
In a speech to the cadets at the headquarters of the Military Academy, President El-Sisi said that in the past three years Egypt has faced hard circumstances, just like the rest of the world, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war.
He urged Egyptians not to feel scared or worried, affirming that they had faced tougher challenges in the past and overcome them. El-Sisi called upon Egyptians – both men and women – to unite and never to give ear to rumors.
“There was a big problem in the US dollar in the past three months. Still, we promised that within two months the problem of accumulated goods will be solved. Currently, the problem has almost been resolved and we do not have a problem in US dollars,” said El-Sisi. He was referring to Egypt's import backlog whereby tons of goods were held at Egyptian ports due to the shortage in US dollars.
The country's hard currency shortage, notably in the US dollar, is in part due to the exit of approximately $25 billion in indirect investments (hot money) with the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022. The crisis prompted the Egyptian authorities to apply curbs on import finance using Letters of credit in banks, which has caused vast quantities of goods to accumulate at ports.
As of December, Egypt has gradually phased out these curbs – alongside adopting a flexible exchange rate – in tandem with a 46-month financial support package agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund.
Until 10 January, the Egyptian government in coordination with the banking sector had announced the release of imported goods worth a total of $8.5 billion.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated that the import backlog was almost cleared.
President El-Sisi said in his word at the Military Academy that the state eased the burden on citizens by not allowing them to bear the real cost of commodities which has risen significantly due to the global crisis.
He stressed that the state worked on reducing the impact of the coronavirus crisis as well as other crises.
The Egyptian president praised the role the Egyptian Armed forces and police have played in fighting terrorism in the past ten years. He noted that tremendous successes in securing the country have been achieved as a result of the collaboration between the Egyptian military and the police.
The president stressed that Egypt had no other choice but to confront the terrorism which had been forced on it, noting that the state had been keen in 2013 and 2014 to prevent any form of conflict or fighting.
El-Sisi added that the Armed Forces were currently playing an important role in relieving citizens. He stated that the Egyptian army will be distributing 3 million food boxes until the holy month of Ramadan as part of the army’s support of the Egyptian people.
“Together we shall overcome the current crisis,” he said. He described the previous crisis as a test of the state’s capabilities.
The president was accompanied in his visit to the Military Academy by Minister of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Osama Askar. The three inspected the students’ training areas.
During his visit, El-Sisi observed the cadets perform their daily exercises and military rehabilitation activities according to the latest advanced systems.
El-Sisi also met with the families of a number of new students at the academy. He praised the families for instilling in their sons well-established values and love for their homeland.
The president has visited the military and police academies frequently. During his most recent visit to the headquarters of the Military Academy, which took place in December, El-Sisi attended tests for candidates applying to join military colleges.