Time to develop Upper Egypt: Adly Mansour

Interim President Adly Mansour met on Monday at the presidential palace with the tribal chieftains of Assiut, Beni Suef, Luxor, Aswan, the Red Sea, Minya, Sohag, Qena and Fayoum.
The meeting was attended by Sakina Fouad, his adviser on women and family affairs, and Ahmed al-Muslimany, his media advisor.
A presidential statement quoted Mansour as saying that Upper Egypt has been marginalized for too long and that it was high time to start developing it, especially in areas of infrastructure, health and education.
He asked them to brief him of their problems so that he could begin working on resolving them.
The representatives requested him to complete the many industrial projects that the government had not finished in Assiut, Naga Hammadi and other places.
They also requested particular attention to the problems of illiteracy and "misunderstanding of the true religion" and demanded a stronger role for the Al-Azhar to play in Upper Egypt.
They asked for a better system for distributing bread and recycling garbage as a source of clean energy. They asked that the Allaqi Valley in the south of the country to be developed further for its rich minerals deposits, thereby creating further job opportunities for the people of Upper Egypt.
They also asked to expand some provinces geographically by making use of the surrounding desert areas.
Mansour reiterated the need to provide full opportunities for the people of Upper Egypt to participate in politics and implement the roadmap through the local councils.
He also stressed the important role of the tribal elders in maintaining national unity against sectarian strife, extremism and terrorism that hinder investment in the region.
He said the government is keen on restoring stability and security to encourage tourism and business in the region as well as the rest of the nation.
The attendees expressed their full support for the government, the police and the army in fighting terrorism and implementing the roadmap.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm