Egypt PM: This is a very, very safe country

Egypt has a very safe environment for investment, according to the country's prime minister, despite reports of ongoing violence directed towards segments of the society.

Speaking at the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), a new economic event held at the resort of Sharm El-Sheikh designed to bring money into the country, he said that terrorists groups had mostly been restricted "pockets" in the northern region of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

"I can ensure you it's a very, very safe country," Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab told CNBC. "They can't do anything...we can deal with them," he added, regarding the terrorist groups.

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"From time to time there is a bomb...but people feel safe," he added.

The new regime in Egypt and the air of optimism on economic reforms hasn't put an end to the violence. Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi told CNBC in January that he faces a war on terror and extremism.

Conflicts spill into Egypt


News reports from the region have included the emergence of an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis (ISIS) There has also been an rise in attacks in the run-up to EEDC, with the Financial Times—citing diplomats and security experts— saying that it's more likely to be the work of "lone wolves" rather than established jihadi groups.

The British Foreign Office warned travelers of a high threat from terrorism, highlighting groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. The northern region of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has seen the worst of the trouble, with the Foreign Office stating that the Ansar Bait-al-Maqdis (ABM) are the most active terrorist group in Egypt, having pledged allegiance to ISIS..

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Attacks have targeted Egyptian security forces, their facilities and other government buildings, but Western businesses have also been affected. A number of international firms have had their premises attacked with explosives in the greater Cairo region and beyond. Recent media reports show that KFC stores have been firebombed, and Vodafone and Carrefour have also been attacked with explosives.

The authorities have stepped up security this weekend's event in the holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The conference arena is within the town's guarded perimeter fence, but Apache helicopters patrol the skies and armed guards and roads checks are prevalent.

'Big problems'

The country is still a key ally for the U.S. and Secretary of State John Kerry has thrown his weight behind the economic progress made by Egypt. Kerry attended the economic conference Friday and stated he has a role in helping the government stabilize and grow the economy.

A press statement from Kerry's department this week also said that the U.S. needs to "help realize the aspirations of the Egyptian people for an inclusive, rights- and freedoms-respecting, and peaceful political climate."

It's been one of the main talking points for the businesspeople at this weekend's event, and a slew of officials and policymakers have touched on the topic during their keynote speeches.

Martin Sorrell, the CEO of advertising giant WPP, told CNBC in Sharm El-Sheikh that there were still "big problems" in the region, despite his optimism on Egypt.

Discussing the security and terrorism issue, he said the best way for countries to deal with it would be to follow the lead of nations like Brazil and China.

"The best way to get people's hearts and minds is with jobs...and the rise of the middle class," he said on the sidelines of the event.

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