Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has said in an interview that the Mideast region must cooperate to defeat a worsening terrorist threat that has led to "ferocious war" in his country and some countries "sliding into a vicious cycle of failure."

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, el-Sissi also said Syria should not be divided after its civil war, the Egyptian military needs to be "augmented" to defeat terrorists, and that efforts must be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue. He also said Egypt's nearly 40-year-peace with Israel should include more Arab countries.

Resolving the Palestinian question, he said, would "change the face of the region and ... bring about enormous improvement to the situation. ... I'm optimistic by nature and I say that there is a great opportunity."