Last Update 14:15
Monday, 21 October 2019

Egypt's Ahmed Shafiq demands evidence on Red Sea islands be made public

Former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq said the Egyptian people have to be informed before official decisions are issued

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Apr 2016
Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Views: 2411
Views: 2411

Former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has called for evidence supporting the claim of Saudi sovereignty over the two Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to be made public.

Egypt's statement on Friday that the islands in the Gulf of Aqaba – long believed to be under Egyptian sovereignty – fall within Saudi waters triggered a wave of controversy and confusion. The acknowledgement is pending the Egyptian parliament’s ratification.

“Let’s refer to the people, and I repeat this, let’s refer to the people, before we issue our decisions, and before we push them into commitments that they can’t do or won’t accept,” Shafiq’s statement read.

Shafiq presented both viewpoints of the islands’ ownership and said in order for one side to be proven, the historic documents that support it should be presented, along with the documents that support the idea that Egypt had only a temporary mandate to oversee the islands.

He also stressed that if there was a mandate, an answer has to be given as to whether the reasons behind its issuing were now concluded.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian cabinet issued a statement detailing historical documents, including newspaper articles and letters from Saudi officials, which supported the claim that the islands belong to Saudi Arabia and were temporarily ceded to Egypt.

Also in his statement, Shafiq also said that Egypt had witnessed “bad events in recent times” giving examples of “the disaster of the Nile water following the [construction of the] Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam,” and “the sudden collapse of our special, traditional relationship with the Italian people.”

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been under construction since 2012 on the Blue Nile; some experts are concerned it could negatively affect downstream Egypt once completed.

Shafiq, briefly Egyptian prime minister in early 2011, lost the final round of the presidential election to Mohamed Morsi in 2012. He has resided in the UAE since then, citing "security reasons". 

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Shiek Mohammed Ibrahim
12-04-2016 03:36pm
How selfish ?!
The said statement of Ahmed Shafiq regarding the construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam as "disaster of the Nile water " clearly shows how Egyptians politicians are selfish. The peoples of the Upper Nile countries who feed Egypt with their water always have been humane and generous. On the other hand , See how one of an elderly person like Ahmed Shafiq has negative attitude to its generous neighbor towards the dam that is meant generate electricity. Allah did not want to make Egypt in the upper Nile apprehending their selfishness.
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.