President Sisi slams European criticism of human rights standards in Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi slammed European criticism of human rights standards in Egypt, during a speech before the Egypt-Visegrad Group Summit, hosted by the Hungarian capital Budapest.

“We are a leadership that respects and loves its people and strives for their progress, and we do not need anyone to tell us that your human rights standards have flaws, no,” adding that: “I am responsible for preserving 100 million lives, and this is not an easy matter.”

Sisi interrupted his written speech and said: “Let me speak and go out of the context of the written speech and say through the conference, and for sure, our European friends will hear, I imagine that illegal immigration reflects a form of human rights that is lost in our region.”

He suggested that since people try to escape poor living conditions by fleeing to different countries, economic rights must be at the same level of importance as freedom of speech and political rights.

“This is from a different perspective, not only from the perspective of expression of opinion and political practice, but many other rights that are not yet available in our region,” Sisi said.

“Are European countries ready to contribute and participate with these countries to improve their political, economic and cultural conditions, so that we can reach a different approach to understanding human rights, which is always the subject of controversy between us? I am talking about Egypt and our European friends.”

“I do not refuse to discuss this issue and talk about it, but from which approach? From the approach that you provide a decent life for 100 million Egyptians,” and he wondered: “Are you ready, as European friends and countries interested in human rights, to provide us with that? Are you ready to provide twinning with Egyptian universities with your advanced university to provide a type of quality education that fits the requirements of the times?”

He added: “Are you ready to transfer part of the industry to our country so that we can provide job opportunities for more than 65% percent of our youth? Are you ready to do this? And we are not only asking for demands from the political leadership in the countries. I believe we need a deeper form of discussion and dialogue between us.”

The V4 countries are Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

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