Egyptian Transportation Ministry Sponsors Launching of Arabic Version of EIR World Land-Bridge Report

March 18, 2016

The Egyptian Transportation Ministry sponsored an event to launch the Arabic translation of the EIR Special Report, "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge" today at the headquarters of the Ministry in Cairo. Transportation Minister Dr. Saad El Geyoushi personally headed the seminar and presented Hussein Askary, as the Southwest Asia specialist for EIR and representative of the Schiller Institute.

Both in his introductory remarks and commentary on Askary's presentation, Dr. El Geyoushi expressed total concordance with the idea of the New Silk Road, and his government's plans to integrate Egypt's transportation networks to the New Silk Road dynamic. He also stated that the Egyptian government is intending to invest one trillion Egyptian Pounds (100 billion US$) in roads and railways, not only to develop Egypt's transportation network, but also to connect Egypt to Asia and most importantly to Africa to the south.

A packed hall hosted top experts and advisers of the ministry and other institutions, as well as several Egyptian television stations and newspapers. Interestingly, the Chinese Arabic TV channel. CCTV-Arabic, was present and taped an interview with Askary. Two other TV channels also interviewed Askary.

In the Arabic media report linked here, Mr. Askary is seated to the Minister’s left.

Several additional seminars and TV events featuring Mr. Askary are planned in the coming days.

See the full EIR Press Release here.



El-Sisi Tells La Repubblica: No To Foreign Intervention In Libya, Yes To Reconstruction

In the second part of his interview to the Italian daily La Republica, published Thursday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warns against a foreign intervention in Libya, which would turn the country in another Somalia, and insists that with adequate material and political backing, the Libyan National Army can do the job. The Italian daily published an abridged version of the both parts of the interview in its English editions.

"The intervention in Libya? I want to be very frank, because Italy is a friend of Egypt and we are both very interested in security in the Mediterranean. First you need to ask yourselves what the exit strategy is," el-Sisi says.

"There are five questions we need to ask. One: how do we get into Libya and how do we get out? Two: who will be responsible for re-establishing the armed forces and the security apparatus? Three: in the course of the mission, how will we manage security and protect the population? Four: will the intervention be able to provide for the needs of all the communities and peoples of Libya? Five: who will take care of physically rebuilding the country? Because in order to be successful, external intervention must be able to take control of all aspects of life in the country. I do not want to appear to be exaggerating these questions, but these are the problems we will come up against, if there is an intervention on the ground. In any case it is very important that any Italian, European or international initiative is at the request of Libya and under the mandate of the United Nations and the Arab League."

El-Sisi says that Egypt is putting pressure on the Parliament in Tobruk to approve the unity government, however, there is a fundamental mistake.

"Europeans look at Libya and act as if Daesh [isis] were the only threat. No, it is not the only manifestation of the danger, and it would be a serious mistake to focus all our attention on them. We must understand that the threat is the extremist ideology that demands that its followers kill those who are not part of the group, and be aware that we face different acronyms with the same ideology. What about al-Qaeda affiliated groups such as Ansar al-Islam, the Somali Shabab, not to mention Boko Haram in Africa."

And although el-Sisi did not mention them, the journalist remarks, various jihadist organizations of this type are operating in Libya, many are close to the government of Tripoli and are often opposed to ISIS.

The alternative to a Western intervention is the Libyan National Army of General Haftar, the army connected to the Parliament in Tobruk.

"There are positive results that can be achieved by supporting the Libyan National Army. And these results can be achieved before we assume the responsibility of intervening. If we provide arms and support for the Libyan National Army, it can do the job much better than anyone else, better than any outside intervention that risks taking us into a situation that could get out of hand and bring about developments that escape our control. ...

"We must keep two lessons in mind, those of Afghanistan and Somalia. There were foreign interventions in those countries more than thirty years ago and what progress has been achieved since? The results are there for all to see: history is clear. If the institutions are destroyed, rebuilding them takes a long time and a considerable effort. This is the origin of our great fears about Libya: the later we act, the higher the risks. We must act quickly and defend the stability of all the countries that have not yet fallen into chaos, because it will take a comprehensive strategy that concerns not only Libya but also addresses the problems present throughout the region, risks that could turn into security threats for Europe as well."

Refugees and traffic of human beings has origin in wars, but also in poverty, he stressed. That is why Europe

"can play a fundamental role by ... supporting those countries where there is famine and despair in order to create a more secure and stable environment that will convince young people to stay at home and not to leave. This, in a metaphorical sense, would be the real wall that needs to be built.

"I always say that ability means responsibility, it means that the means at your disposal give you the responsibility to help people and countries that are suffering. If we are not be able to provide serious answers to these problems, illegal immigration will continue for many years, many populations will continue to suffer and the crisis will continue to move from their countries of origin to the coasts of Europe."

He concluded, speaking directly in English:

"Egypt is home to 5 million refugees, who come from Libya, Iraq, Syria and Africa, and we are not rich and advanced like Europe. We do not treat them as refugees but share what we have with them, treating them like brothers. I hope that these words are not read as an encouragement to migrants. They are only a diagnosis and an attempt to find solutions for those who are suffering, and an attempt not to forget our humanity. How many people have lost their lives during the journey to find a better country in which to live? Those we know about and those we do not know anything about, the nameless dead. And there are not only the dangers of the sea, but the desert crossings, the minefields and terrorist attacks."

He then concludes, stressing his words in English.

"Do not abandon the poor and the weak. Do not turn your backs on them."