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Egypt's Sisi inaugurates largest military base in Mideast

Cairo, July 22 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday inaugurated the largest military base of the Middle East in Alexandria, the media reported.

The President raised the Armed Forces flag at the new base in el Hammam city, west of Alexandria, Xinhua news agency reported.

The base was named after late President Mohamed Naguib, who orchestrated 1952 revolution which ended the royal regime in Egypt.

It is the biggest base in the Middle East and Africa regions, according to reports.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Egypt’s top officials as well as Arab princes and ambassadors.

The Arab delegation included Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nuhayyan, Saudi Arabian King’s adviser Prince Khaled al Faysal and Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Since Sisi assumed office in 2014, he has worked on rebuilding the armed forces and has concluded many arm deals with the US, France, Russia and other countries.

Egypt faces security threats which require diversifying the army resources and improving preparations, Samir Ghatas, chairman of the Middle East Forum for Strategic and Security Studies told Xinhua.

Ghatas said there are challenges on the borders with Libya, Sinai and Sudan. Also preserving the security of Bab al-Mandab strait threatened by the tensions in Yemen is essential for the security of the new and the old Suez Canal, in addition to the necessity to secure the new gas discoveries on the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt should be ready for entering any war in support of its “Gulf allies, which constitute the defence line for Egypt,” the strategic expert added.

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