Egyptian President Al-Sisi: People in Our Countries Should Not Expect the West to Welcome Them; They Should Solve Their Own Countries' Problems Instead
During a session of the World Youth Forum that was convened in Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was asked about Western countries preventing the entrance of people from undeveloped countries. He answered: "Instead of asking me why the West closes its gates to us, you should ask yourself why the people of Afghanistan don't take better care of their country... [The same is true] in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, and in Somalia." He said that people in those countries have been fighting amongst themselves for decades, so it is unreasonable for them to expect to be welcomed by Western countries while keeping their own culture and work ethic. President Al-Sisi's comments aired on Ten TV (Egypt) on November 4, 2018.
Following are excerpts:
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi: "Every country has the right to protect its people and their interests. It must generally respect human rights in a framework that preserves its national interests.
"Instead of asking me why countries [in the West] close their gates to us, you should ask yourself why the people of Afghanistan don't take better care of their own country. Why have they been killing one another for 40 years? This happens in other countries as well – in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, and in Somalia.
"We fight amongst ourselves in our own countries, and then we expect countries that work day and night to achieve progress, to protect their people and to maintain a certain standard of living for them… We demand that they l let us in so that we can have part of their [success], after we have been fighting amongst ourselves in our own countries. Of course [they say] no. I'm not for them or against them, but I am trying to be fair in the way I look at this issue. We should be criticizing ourselves. Are we protecting our countries – yes or no?
"Are you upset with the leaders of Germany, England, Italy, or any other European country for closing their borders in order to protect the achievements of many long years? Do you expect them to open their doors so that we can go there, demanding to keep our own culture? We demand to keep our culture, which could be very different from the work ethic in those countries.
"You demand to go there with your culture, which you consider to be non-negotiable. You say: 'This is how we are and you must accept us [because of] human rights.' No. By the way, if you go to another country as a guest, you must completely abide by its laws, customs, traditions, and culture. You must abide by them completely! If you are not willing to do this, don't go. Don't expect them to open the door for you, so you can go into their country and cause trouble. No.
"You've been fighting amongst yourselves for 40 years, yet you expect [the West] to open their doors for you? No. If you want to solve the problem, you should solve it in your own countries. That's why I'm telling Egyptians that they should take better care of their country."