Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said the reconstruction of the Sinai Peninsula is its "first line of defense" against the attacks of armed groups.
North Sinai has been a hub for extremist groups loyal to ISIS for years, and the area witnessed several terrorist operations following the protests on January 25, 2011. The attacks increased after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, before the Egyptian forces waged a fierce war against these groups.
The Egyptian government is working to bring about a "comprehensive developmental quantum leap" in Sinai in all service sectors, taking advantage of the "stability" after it "defeated terrorism," according to North Sinai Governor Mohamed Abdel-Fadil Shousha.
In a recorded speech on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Sinai from the Israeli occupation, Sisi said that Egyptians view Sinai as "the jewel of Egypt's crown and this nation's source of honor and pride," adding that the day "forever remain embedded in the memory of our nation, revered for embodying the willpower and determination."
Sisi saluted Egypt's martyrs and "men of Egyptian diplomacy" who fought the battle of negotiation with patience and stamina to restore Sinai.
He also saluted the late President Mohamed Anwar el-Sadat, who took decisions of war and peace until the entire land was restored, "starting a new phase of construction in dear Sinai to serve as the first line of defense."
The President stressed that in the highly complex regional and international situation, "maximizing the capabilities of the state's comprehensive powers" is at the "top of the Egyptian State's priorities."
He reiterated that those who want "peace must possess the necessary power to protect it."
"As much attention is given to our military capability, we are also moving, in tandem, to elevate the rest of the state's comprehensive capabilities, the most important of which is its economic capacity," said Sisi.
Egypt aspires to establish a robust national economy capable of facing various crises and help achieve high growth rates that can provide many job opportunities, concluded Sisi.