Egypt's Sisi comments on border demarcation deal, says 'nations are not bought or sold'

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Jun 2017

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi commented on the border demarcation deal with Saudi Arabia,  after the Egyptian parliament approved an agreement which hands the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir, currently administered by Egypt, to Saudi Arabia.

The president's statements came in a speech during the Egyptian Family Iftar that was aired on Tuesday night, in which he spoke about the economic situation and challenges facing the Egyptian nation.
"Every citizen has the right to express his opinion on this matter or even to reject the deal, but I reassure everyone that nations are not bought or sold," El-Sisi said. 
"Some advisors suggested that we delay going through with the whole matter {the deal} until after the election, and here I asked them if the rights of people should be a subject of personal interests," the president added. 
"States are run by laws and facts and not by personal interests or desires, and we want to deal with all matters according to this principle without doubting each other or making accusations of betrayal," El-Sisi said, referencing the ongoing political row between supporters and opponents of the deal. 
The Egyptian president also said that he is ready discuss the matter again at the next youth conference, affirming that Egypt "has nothing to hide" and that the rights of nations should be returned to them without wars or fights, with honour and honesty." 
The deal signed between Cairo and Riyadh in April 2016 sparked a year long legal process between the Egyptian government and the opponents of the deal.
By the end of December 2016, the Egyptian cabinet referred the Egyptian-Saudi agreement to parliament, which voted in favour of approving the deal on 16 June.
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