Egypt's leader says Europe cannot 'teach us' about rights

Egypt's leader says Europe cannot 'teach us' about rights
European Council President Donald Tusk, left, and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, right, attend a round table meeting at an EU-Arab summit at the Sharm El Sheikh convention center in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. Leaders from European Union and Arab League countries are holding their first-ever summit, meeting in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss migration, security and business deals. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is defending his country’s widely-criticized human rights record and warning the countries of Europe not to lecture the Arab world.

Speaking after an EU-Arab League summit Monday, El-Sissi said: “You are not going to teach us about humanity.”

He told reporters in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that Europeans “have your rules ethic and values. We respect yours. You should respect ours.”

El-Sissi says that Europe is prosperous while many Arab countries struggle simply to prevent conflicts. He was applauded by local media after his remarks.

EU leaders have avoided publicly criticizing Egypt even amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent and a recent spike in executions.