‘If you go to another country, you must abide by its culture. If not, don’t go’: Egypt’s president decries migrants heading to Europe and refusing to integrate instead of fixing their own countries
- Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said nations should ‘protect their people and their interests’
- He said migrants had to ‘abide by the laws, customs, traditions and culture’
- His comments came at a World Youth Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh last month
Egypt’s President has told his people they should not expect the West to ‘open their doors’ to migrants who refuse to integrate.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that ‘every country has the right to protect its people and their interests.’
Speaking at a World Youth Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, the country’s leader told guests they had to ‘completely abide by the laws, customs, traditions and culture’ of a country they moved to.
His comments came last month but have only now been reported by U.S.-based research institute MEMRI.
The Egyptian President told the audience that the West could not be expected to allow in people from countries who ‘fight amongst ourselves’.
He said: ‘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 let us in so we can have part of their [success].’
Sisi, 64, told the audience that the leaders of ‘Germany, England, Italy or any other European country’ would protect their borders ‘in order to protect the achievements of many long years’.
He said: ‘Do you expect them to open their doors so that we can go there demanding to keep our own culture?
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, pictured, said migrants should abide by laws and traditions in the country they moved to and should not expect the West to ‘open its doors’
‘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.’
Sisi took power in 2014, after helping to remove the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi the previous year.
He has previously held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Europe bids to resolve the migrant crisis.
In October this year the two leaders met in Berlin at a summit designed to help reduce unemployment in Africa, in an effort to make migration less necessary.