Sinai is witnessing a new age of development and construction, now that security has been restored and terrorism eradicated from the peninsula, thanks to the heroic sacrifices by the Egyptian police and army.
The achievements made all over Sinai should be regarded as the ‘second crossing’ — the first led to our victory in the 1973 War, exceeding all expectations and proving to the world that Egypt would never give up its territory or leave it under foreign occupation.
The Second Crossing started in 2014 when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi decided to fight terrorism and restore Sinai from the hands of armed terrorist groups for the sake of the protection of Egypt and the world.
During the fight against terrorism in Sinai, the government went ahead plans to develop the area. Some of the development projects have been completed and others are still ongoing at a total cost of LE610 billion.
A link stronger than that afforded by only one tunnel and two bridges between the mainland and the peninsula was one of the state’s priorities.
In a very short space of time, and with determination and persistence, the army built another five tunnels.
Next, the government had plans to turn Sinai into an attractor of industrial and agricultural investment. Neither could happen without electricity, desalination and a proper network of roads and bridges linking different parts of Sinai.
Building new communities, universities and improving public health and education services all came in tandem with other infrastructure projects.
More than 400,000 acres of desert land have been reclaimed, increasing the cultivated land to 675,000 acres from 224 acres.
This is in addition to the Bahr el-Baqar Wastewater Treatment Plant in the northern governorate of Port Said to treat 6 million cubic metres of water from the Bahr el-Baqar basin every day.
All these achievements inspire hope that this treasured part of the country will in the near future become a vital part of the economy, especially since it possesses a variety of natural resources and a distinguished location.
On 26 February, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, arrived in Ismailia to inspect equipment used in Sinai development and reconstruction process, which shows that the peninsula Sinai has been and will be the centre of attention for the Egyptian leadership to establish agricultural, industrial and mining, tourism and commercial projects there.
The president warned the public to be aware to the endless stream of rumours and false claims to weaken confidence in the Egyptian state.
The latest example to which the president referred was a fake recording that went viral on social media, stating that the leadership would sell the Suez Canal to foreign investors for $1 trillion.
However, what is being achieved on the land of Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt refutes these rumours and affirms that the government is building and exploiting the nation’s resources, and that not a square centimetre of its territory is for sale. President Sisi has said repeatedly that Egypt combats terrorism on behalf of the world. He was right in saying that since Sinai is bordered by the Suez Canal, Egypt is defending trade movement to and from the international markets by fighting terrorism.
That Egypt is winning the fight against terrorism in Sinai and has initiated process of development is proof that this country can be trusted to safeguard the world’s interests.
Mohamed Fahmy is the editor-in-chief of The Egyptian Gazette and the Egyptian Mail newspapers
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