Egypt’s Defense Minister Declares Need for ‘Stronger Military’ Due to Regional Volatility
On the heels of two days of military maneuvers, Egypt's Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi on Wednesday declared the need for a strong military in light of the region's volatile landscape, the official MENA news agency reported.
"New factors in the region means it is imperative for the armed forces to be vigilant, prudent, and maintain their combat capabilities and competence," Tantawi said, cited by AFP.
He called Egypt's military capabilities "the real guarantee" for "protecting the peace," at the end of two days of military maneuvers in the Ismailia region of northeastern Egypt.
According to a report by the Middle East Newsline (MENL), Israel fears that the military exercise “could be the start of an incursion into the demilitarized Sinai Peninsula.”
Western defense sources in Cairo were quoted by the news service as saying the exercise included Egypt's Second and Third armies.
The sources said Egypt's army and air force were participating in the exercise, called Bader.
Last year, the Bader exercise was cancelled in the Ismalia region, said MENL.
Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, recalled its ambassador from the Jewish state in November, as the Palestinian uprising, now in its twelfth month, started to spin out of control – Albawaba.com
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