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Egypt’s Sissi criticizes Europe’s handling of migrant crisis

In this photo provided by Egypt's presidency media office, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, speaks at an international youth conference, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Egyptian Presidency Media Office via AP)
In this photo provided by Egypt's presidency media office, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, speaks at an international youth conference, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Egyptian Presidency Media Office via AP)

Egypt’s leader criticizes Europe’s handling of the migration crisis and its refusal to receive refugees arriving at its borders, saying his own country has taken in millions of people who left their home countries.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says Egypt hosts at least 6 million people who fled conflict and poverty at home. He says his government, unlike some other countries, doesn’t hold migrants in refugee camps but allows them to live freely in the community.

“I’m talking about huge numbers, not about five or ten thousand, [that] our friends in Europe refuse to receive,” Sissi says.

Sissi says his government has in recent years tightened border security and managed to prevent Egypt from becoming a departure point for migrants fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

“We didn’t allow people to use Egypt as a crossing point where people cross into the unknown and face a very harsh destiny in the Mediterranean while migrating to Europe,” he says.

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