Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has said that Cairo is keen on having close ties with all world countries.
Developments over the past four years have been read in different ways as far as Egypt's foreign relations are concerned, Sisi said in an interview with France's Europe 1 Radio on Tuesday.
He was replying to a question about new balances in the region following a recent visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Egypt, as well as relations between Egypt and Europe; France in particular.
Asked about relations with Washington, Sisi said that Europe has been more understanding of Egyptians and their rejection of a religious rule than the US, stressing that Europeans are closer to Egyptians.
Talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi stressed that they are not a peaceful group. Indeed, the government is keen on giving all Egyptians the room they need regardless of their ideologies so long as they do not attempt to impose those ideologies by force, which is the case with the Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi said.
The MB ideology accepts no halfway solutions, the president told the French radio, adding that it was clear the group's extremist ideologies needed to be revised to be in line with the teachings of Al Azhar.
Sisi reiterated the need to upgrade the Islamic religious discourse.
It is important that the religious discourse keep pace with time and help promote, rather than collide with mankind, Sisi said, stressing he is not talking about faiths here. Faiths are constant, the president said, adding that a violent religious discourse is what needs to be truly revised.
Asked about his perception of MB threats and the phenomenon of Jihad that has even reached Europe, Sisi said he was not alone to think that way, stressing millions of Egyptians share his vision.
Replying to a question about human and women's rights, Sisi wondered if a country that is seeking to upgrade religious discourse and to promote coexistence with the Other would actually not respect basic rights, whether in Egypt or abroad.
Asked about death penalties against several MB members, described as terrorists, and whether the punishment could be commuted or if he has the authority to do so, Sisi said he is particularly pleased with this question because he wants his message to reach Europeans. He said that a death penalty constitutes only one of three punishment phases after which it becomes enforceable.
It is not easy to kill people, even if they killed others, Sisi told the radio, preferring to let Egyptian judges do their job.
The president said that he wants to have a state of institutions in Egypt, where the judicial system and courts are respected the same way they are in Europe.
Asked about an economic conference to be held in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el sheikh in March, Sisi invited all friends, all leaders and all businessmen willing to invest in Egypt to attend the event. He pointed to numerous investment opportunities in Egypt, whose population exceeds 90 million people and is located right in the heart of the world. Egypt can very well be a gate to Africa and the Gulf region, Sisi said.
Asked about projects to which France could contribute, Sisi said there are mega projects in which the French government and investors can work, particularly in the fields of energy, infrastructure and logistics. French businessmen are welcomed in all fields, he noted.
The president said tourists are safe in Luxor, Aswan and Cairo, but he still assured that visitors will of course be safe in any tourist areas in Egypt.
Asked if Daesh in Libya is Egypt's number one enemy, Sisi said terrorist ideology in many countries, including France, is.
Sisi said he is talking about extremist ideologies that lead to terrorist actions.
At the end of the interview, Sisi thanked the French president, defense minister and people, who stood by Egypt in its difficult times.