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Residents of Egypt's Sinai to be allowed to own local land: PM

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil lays out purchase procedures for would-be local landowners in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, official news agency MENA reports

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Oct 2012
Bedouins in Al-Arish city, North Sinai (Photo: AP)

Residents of Egyptian Sinai will finally enjoy the right to own land in the peninsula after Prime Minister Hisham Qandil issued a decision laying out purchase procedures for would-be local landowners, Egypt's official news agency MENA reported on Monday.

Qandil stated that all those applying to purchase land plots in Sinai must have two documents: proof that they do not have a second nationality, and a certificate confirming that both parents are Egyptian.

The prime minister added that both Egyptian individuals and corporations would be eligible to own Sinai land, noting that purchases would be done through public bids.

Foreign corporations eying investment projects in Sinai, meanwhile, will be granted contracts on a usufruct basis, Qandil said.

During the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, Sinai-based Egyptians and Bedouin tribesmen had campaigned for the amendment of existing laws banning them from land ownership in Sinai for ostensible "security" reasons since Egypt regained the peninsula from Israel in 1981.

According to Qandil, the move will serve to boost development in Sinai by encouraging local investors who will be offered generous facilities and easy-to-meet terms and conditions.

600,000 Egyptian Bedouins live in Sinai and have complained for many years that the central government neglects provision of basic health, education and other services to local residents.

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