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Sisi ratifies Saudi Sinai development programme

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Jan 2017
Sharm El-Shiekh
Egypt South Sinai's Sharm El-Shiekh resort
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved on Thursday in a new decree a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the development of Sinai.

The decree, which was published in the official gazette on Thursday, is an approval of the King Salman Programme for the Development of Sinai.

The MoU was signed in the Saudi capital Riyadh in March 2016, and was approved by the Egyptian parliament in June 2016.

The programme, worth $1.5 billion, was signed between Egypt's international cooperation ministry and the Saudi Development Fund, and involves 12 major development projects in the peninsula over five years.

The projects include an integrated network for roads and utilities to facilitate access to the Suez Canal, as well as the establishing of several agricultural, industrial, and urban zones and nine housing complexes. 

The programme also includes the establishing of the King Salman University in South Sinai's El-Tor city.

In 2015, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that Egypt proposed development projects in the Sinai Peninsula at the cost of $1.5 billion to Arab development institutions.

Development in Sinai has been a pressing concern for consecutive Egyptian governments since its liberation from Israeli occupation in 1982. 

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree ordering development projects in the Sinai Peninsula in August 2015.

North Sinai had been the target of a rising Islamic insurgency since the ouster of Egypt's former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

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