Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1254, (9 - 22 July 2015)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1254, (9 - 22 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Slamming terrorism

The international community and Arab world have been unanimous in condemning last week’s terrorist attacks in Sinai, reports Ahmed Morsy

Al-Ahram Weekly

Following last week’s terrorist attacks by the Islamic State (IS) affiliated Sinai State militant group, foreign and Arab countries slammed the attacks that resulted in the killing of 17 members of the Armed Forces.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said on Saturday that many countries had slammed the terrorist attacks in Sinai. “The condemnations reflect support from those countries for the Egyptian government and people in their fight against terrorism,” Abdel-Ati said.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the terror attacks and reiterated his solidarity with Egypt in its battle against terrorism. In a statement from his press office, Ban said “the United Nations stands firm with the people of Egypt in their fight against terrorism.”

He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Egyptian government.

From his side, John Kirby, spokesperson for the US State Department, condemned the attacks saying “the United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai governorate, in which dozens of Egyptian soldiers were killed and others wounded. We express our sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and the government and the people of Egypt.”

In a press briefing, Kirby added that the perpetrators of “these cowardly crimes” must be brought to justice, asserting the readiness of Washington to remain “steadfast in its support of the Egyptian government’s efforts to combat terrorism in Egypt.”

UK Minister for North Africa Tobias Ellwood condemned the attacks and sent his thoughts to the families of those affected.

“I condemn the deplorable terrorist attacks in North Sinai today that have resulted in the deaths of so many Egyptian soldiers. My thoughts are with the families of all those affected. The UK stands firm with the Egyptian people in their fight against the threat of terrorism,” Ellwood said in a press statement issued by the UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Italy condemned the IS attacks that targeted army and police soldiers in North Sinai. In a statement, Italy’s Foreign Ministry expressed condolences to the Egyptian leadership and people.

Similarly, Australia condemned the brutal attacks against the security forces in Sinai. “We express our condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of members of the Egyptian armed forces who have died as a result of the attacks,” a statement read.

It added that the attacks were further evidence of the brutality of the terrorist organisations and their lack of respect for human life. “Such attacks will boost and strengthen the determination of the Australian government to fight IS and other terrorist organisations,” the statement read.

Even Turkey, which has had uncertain relations with Egypt over the past two years, condemned last week’s terrorist attacks.

“We are deeply sorry that a large number of people died. May God rest the souls of the victims, and we offer our condolences to their families. We wish the wounded people a quick recovery,” said a statement issued by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Greece expressed its support for Egypt’s efforts to crack down on terrorism and maintain stability in the wider region.

“We condemn in the most categorical manner the deadly terrorist attacks by the extremist Islamist organisation Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in northern Sinai. We express our support for the victims’ loved ones and for the friendly people and government of Egypt,” a statement said.

Professor of political science at Cairo University Hassan Nafaa commented on the wide international condemnation by saying that “terror threatens the whole world, and fighting terrorism is an international war. Due particularly to the fact that what has happened in Syria and Iraq might be repeated in Sinai, it is usual to receive widespread international condemnation regarding last week’s attacks.”

“The terrorist attacks were a clear indication of the seriousness of the situation in combating terrorism, and they also showed the size and nature of the armaments of the terrorist organisations,” Nafaa told Al-Ahram Weekly.

“The extensive international condemnations are in favour of the government. The battle against terrorism has been imposed on Egypt and it must continue to be waged,” he added.

Since former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, terrorist attacks in Egypt have claimed the lives of hundreds of security personnel, with Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis — now known as State of Sinai — being behind the largest terrorist attacks targeting the security forces.

“Fighting terrorism requires the restructuring of most of the security agencies, as they showed shortcomings in the recent terrorist attacks,” Nafaa said.

There was also widespread Arab condemnation of the attacks. The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that King Salman of Saudi Arabia had condemned the attacks and expressed his condolences to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.

“We have learned with deep pain and sadness the news of the terrorist attacks that targeted a series of checkpoints in Sinai and which resulted in casualties and injuries, including a number of members of the Egyptian Armed Forces. We condemn these heinous criminal acts that are considered among the greatest crimes in Islam,” King Salman said.

Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union chief and Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem also condemned the terrorist attacks. “These attacks, which targeted the security and stability of Egypt, are to be utterly rejected and deplored,” Al-Ghanem said, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

He expressed solidarity with Egypt in its fight against terror and sent his condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed, wishing the injured a swift recovery.

A statement issued by the UAE Foreign Ministry expressed the country’s full support for Egypt’s government and people in the war against terrorism and extremism.

“These heinous terrorist crimes will not dissuade Egypt from the way forward towards stabilising the country and uprooting terrorism,” the statement said. It added that the UAE reiterated its solidarity with Egypt and rallied all its capacities behind Cairo in support of efforts to fight extremism.

The UAE called on the international community to assume its responsibilities in countering terrorism and extremism. UAE deputy permanent representative to the Arab League Khalifa Al-Tunaiji reiterated the country’s condemnation of the terrorist attacks.

In an observation made during an emergency meeting of the Arab League Council on Thursday, Al-Tunaiji affirmed the UAE’s support for Egypt and its Armed Forces.

He said that such a criminal act necessitated joint action and efforts at regional and international levels to confront the evil of terrorism. “This heinous crime shows that terrorism has one goal: to undermine human values and to spread chaos and destruction,” he added.

Qatar condemned the attacks and offered its condolences to the families of the victims, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

In a press statement from the Qatari Foreign Ministry, Doha said that such “criminal acts” sought to “destabilise Egypt’s security”, adding that they “violate all religious and humanitarian principles”.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas offered his condolences to the Egyptian government and people after meeting the Egyptian ambassador to Palestine in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Abbas condemned the “terrorist attacks that attempt to harm Egypt and undermine its important role in the Middle East,” Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported.

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