Egypt approves law to create anti-terror supreme council

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Cairo, April 3 (IANS) The Egyptian parliament has preliminarily approved a new law to establish a supreme council for combating terrorism, the media reported.

Citing Ahram news website, Xinhua on Tuesday reported the final vote on the 20-article law was postponed until a later meeting due to the lack of two-thirds of parliament members as required by the Egyptian constitution.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi originally ordered the creation of the Supreme Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism after meeting with the National Defence Council following terrorist attacks last year.

The law approval came hours before official announcement of Sisi’s victory in Egypt’s 2018 presidential election.

The law, which was referred to parliament early this week, aims to mobilize all the country’s forces not only to rid the country of terrorist elements, but also to contain extremist and radical ideologies, said head of the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Bahaa Abu Shoqa.

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According to the law, the council will forge a national anti-terrorism and counter-extremism strategy every five years.

The council, which will be led by the president and composed of 17 members, will coordinate with religious, security and media institutions to spread moderate religious thoughts, said the law.

The council will also amend legislation to better support the battle against terrorism, and amend educational curriculums to spread ideas of citizenship and tolerance in schools and universities.

According to the law, the council will move to set up a regional coalition of Arab countries to exchange information and boost cooperation in fighting terrorism.

Egypt has been suffering from a wave of terror attacks that have killed hundreds of policemen, soldiers and civilians since the army toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

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The Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war.

–IANS

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