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  • Egyptian President Gives Surprisingly Honest Answer In Bizarre Boast Against ISIS

    Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Wednesday that even though the country may be on the road to starvation, Egyptians should not worry because no one can defeat them.

    Sisi made an unannounced visit to Sharm el Sheik, a seaside town in Egypt, to reassure locals in the wake of the destruction of a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula Oct. 31, which resulted in the death of 224 people. Russia suspended all flights to Egypt just last week. Flights may not resume for months.

    The incident has sparked wide fears among foreigners visiting the resort. Thousands of British and Russian tourists have left the country, threatening to devastate the tourism economy in Egypt.

    A female reporter stopped Sisi to ask him the question, “How can we face the rumors and support tourism?”

    Sisi’s response was unusually candid.

    “I don’t want you to be worried so. You are … I feel optimistic when I look at you. How can you be worried like that? As long as Egyptians …do you think someone can defeat Egyptians?

    “So, how can you be worried so?” he added. “We may not eat! But we will build our country. Do you understand? Never be afraid, and no one should. Nobody can.”

    “We will not eat? We may not eat. We will starve? We may starve. What’s the problem with that? But our country is secured and safe and we move forward, the success is clear, and it will keep going.”

    According to Daniel Schenker, director of the program on Arab politics at The Washington Institute, Sisi’s rhetoric makes sense, given the fact that he was elected to bring stability to Egypt after a long period of continuous revolution.

    “The Egyptian people want to get back to a sense of normalcy,” Schenker told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “His secondary goal is the economy. But the first priority is security. He hasn’t succeeded at that. The Russian aircraft certainly highlights the security problems.”

    Traditionally, Sharm has enjoyed a reputation as one of the safest and most secure locations in Egypt.

    That reputation has been shattered, and even though Sisi’s narrative is that government forces are succeeding against the Islamic State-affiliated insurgency in the Sinai, the insurgency is still not under control.

    As for the rest of Sisi’s speech on starvation, Schenker noted that it was somewhat hyperbolic.

    “He’s emphasizing that providing stability is the priority of his administration. And frankly, if he can’t provide the security and stability, then he’s going to have legitimacy problems.”

    Starvation is not necessarily an imminent problem, though malnutrition does exist. Egypt is in the middle of a major population boom and is the largest what importer in the world. Without massive imports, Egypt cannot feed its rapidly growing population, and without tourism, food security may be in jeopardy long-term.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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