Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says he agrees that the term “radical Islam” should be used to describe terorrism, stressing to CNN that “it is really important that we state the truth so that we could correct it.”
In an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, el-Sisi said terrorism is “truly extremism, Islamic extremism, which is something that we must confront and we must correct the Islamic rhetoric.”
“I’m a Muslim man and it is very, very hard on me to say what I’m saying, but this is the truth,” he added.
El-Sisi met this week with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton has in the past called el-Sisi’s government “basically an army dictatorship.”
The Egyptian president said he believes Clinton “didn’t make that statement after our most recent meeting between the two of us.”
“But also in Egypt, there would be no chance for any dictatorship, because in Egypt, there’s a constitution, there’s a law, and there is a will of the people which will not allow any leader to stay in his position past his term, which is four years,” he said.
Some human rights activists called for both presidential candidates to skip the meeting; Egypt has been freezing the assets or banning various NGOs and rights groups.
El-Sisi said “no doubt” Trump would make a strong leader, opining of both candidates that “political parties in the United States would not allow candidates to reach that level unless they are qualified to lead a country the size of the United States of America.”
In a statement after their meeting, Trump’s campaign said the GOP nominee “emphasized to President el-Sisi his high regard for peace-loving Muslims and understands that every day there are people of goodwill that sacrifice their lives and fortunes to combat the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”
Asked on CNN about Trump’s proposal to block Muslim immigration or visitors from Muslim countries that have experienced terrorist activity, el-Sisi replied that “the United States in general conducts very strict security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it.”
“And this has been in place for quite a few years. It’s also important for us to know that during election campaigns, many statements are made and many things are said,” el-Sisi said. “However, afterwards, the actual governing of the country would be something different and it would be subject to many factors.”