A number of former Egyptian members of parliament and opposition party members have signed an official denouncing the country’s maritime border agreement with Greece which was signed last week.
The pact, they said, “is supportive, first and foremost, of its [the ruling regime’s] regional and international sponsors, who guarantee its survival and continuity, even at the expense of Egypt’s national interests,” and does not help the Egyptian people.
“The maritime border demarcation agreement with Greece does not only mean that Egypt cedes large areas of its economic waters and hundreds of billions of dollars, the value of the natural resources that these areas contain, but it also means the elimination of future opportunities for the Egyptian state to benefit from its wealth in the rest of spaces,” they added.
MEMO received a copy of the letter which can be found in full below:
Official statement to the Egyptian people: On the crime of demarcating the maritime border with Greece
We follow with great concern the foreign policies of Al-Sisi’s coup regime, which proved to be serving a specific agenda from the first days, at the expense of the Egyptian national security, and in a way that contradicts the foundations of the country’s foreign policy and its historical rights established under international agreements, while systematically wasting Egypt’s economic wealth and dissolving its geographical borders, starting from the signing of the maritime boundary delimitation agreements with Cyprus in December 2013, then the declaration of the principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in March 2015, the ceding of the two Egyptian islands of Tiran and Sanafir in April 2016, and last but not least the crime of demarcating the maritime border with Greece on 6 August 2020.
As we consider all these agreements as null and void, and we reject the recognition of any of the aforementioned accords, based on our absolute concern for our country’s strategic interests, historical rights and natural wealth, we stress the following:
First: The catastrophic damage caused by the Sisi regime’s policies on the Egyptian state, and its endeavour to legitimise these policies through what it calls international agreements that would restrict the ability of any future political system to deal with or retreat from, without entering into a direct confrontation and creating hostilities with the concerned states and parties.
Second: The regime’s allegations that these agreements come in line with the rules of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are unacceptable and illogical, because this treaty, which is a means to preserve its signatories’ rights, does not force states to forfeit their rights and surrender their wealth.
Third: The ruling regime in Egypt is moving according to an agenda that is supportive, first and foremost, of its regional and international sponsors, who guarantee its survival and continuity, even at the expense of Egypt’s national interests.
Fourth: The current regime is taking advantage of its hegemonic powers over the state’s political, military, security and media institutions to suppress all civil forces and political parties that reject its policies inside and outside Egypt, pass such suspicious agreements, whose texts and annexes are not officially announced, as part of a fixed approach aimed at covering its crimes.
Fifth: The maritime border demarcation agreement with Greece does not only mean that Egypt cedes large areas of its economic waters and hundreds of billions of dollars, the value of the natural resources that these areas contain, but it also means the elimination of future opportunities for the Egyptian state to benefit from its wealth in the rest of spaces, due to the regime’s suspicious deals with Cyprus and Israel, which signed an agreement with Greece to establish a pipeline to transport gas to Europe, which entails transforming Greece, not Egypt, into a main station to control gas imports to Europe.
Sixth: Sisi’s regime disregarded the opinions of experts and advisers, as well as the scientific and political reports issued by official institutions, such as the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other sovereign bodies, which had previously warned of the repercussions of signing this agreement, and published official documents to justify its concerns, which were widely circulated. Thus, the same approach was undertaken by the authorities in all the agreements they signed with Cyprus, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which brought disastrous results to Egypt’s rights and national security.
Seventh: The regime’s foreign policies in the Mediterranean region are related in the largest part to political disputes and manoeuvres rather than defending Egypt’s rights in this strategic region, as the major concessions made by Al-Sisi in favour of Israel, Cyprus and Greece came to confirm this approach, especially since these regimes are among Al-Sisi’s main supporters since the 2013 coup.
The head of the Egyptian regime has engaged in a network of political, economic and military relations and alliances with these countries, which would harm Egypt’s national security, and force the Egyptian state to get caught into unnecessary conflicts and bargains in many files.
Based on the above:
1- We categorically reject recognition of the maritime border demarcation agreement signed by Egyptian regime with Greece on 6 August 2020, and we consider it to be null and void.
2- We call on the Egyptian people to express their rejection of this suspicious agreement, by all available and possible means, to build a comprehensive national opinion against any step that would threaten their national resources and wealth.
3- We call on all Egyptian national forces to sign this statement as a preliminary step to be followed by other moves in the future, to defend Egypt’s historic rights, protect its natural resources, and enhance its national security.
4- We call on the Egyptian army to play its much needed role in confronting these policies and the consequent agreements, on the grounds that defending national and border security constitutes the most important function of national armies, and not polarising the country’s internal political life and dominating the state’s economic resources.
5- We affirm the continuation of our national struggle against the coup regime in power since 2013, and its policies, by all available and possible means, inside and outside Egypt, while striving to uncover and expose its crimes against the Egyptian people, land, and state with all its pillars, wealth, sovereignty and status.
God bless Egypt and its people
Released on Saturday 8 August 2020
Dr. Essam Abdel-Shafy, Professor of Political Science
Dr. Ayman Nour, founder and chairman of the Al Ghad party
Dr. Magda Rifaa Al-Tahtawi
Mr. Yahya Hamid, former Minister of Investment
Dr. Tariq Al-Zomor, head of the Hurriyat Center for Political and Strategic Studies
Former MP Muhammad Al-Feki, head of the parliamentary group for members of the 2012 Parliament
Dr. Osama Rochdi, former member of the National Council for Human Rights
Former MP Hatem Azzam
Ms. Magda Mahfouz
Mr. Ashraf Tawfik, Secretary-General of Najda for Human Rights Organization
Former MP Nizar Ghorab
Former MP Mohamed Musaad Al-Imam
Former MP Tamer Mekki
Former MP Yasser Hassanein
Former MP Adel Ismail
Former MP Ahmed Gad
Former MP Tariq Morsi
Dr. Hatem Abdel Azim, a former MP
Mr. Sadeek Abd Al-Muttalib
Former MP Izz Eddin Al-Kumi
Mr. Ahmed Shaboun
Mr. Salah Al-Doubi, Switzerland
Dr. Ahmad Abdul Basit
Journalist Ahmed Rochdi