December 26, 2006

Egyptian FM 'allows' Eilat to remain Israeli

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday rejected calls by parliament members and journalists in Cairo for the return of Umm Rashrash - or Eilat, in Hebrew - to Egypt, and said that anyone who brought the subject up for discussion was only trying to create problems.

The foreign minister's statement was meant to stem a renewed interest among opposition MPs and the Egyptian press in seeing Umm Rashrash return to Egyptian ownership.

The subject recently gained media attention with the establishment of the People's Front for the Liberation of Umm Rashrash, a group founded by Egyptian MP Tala'at Sadat.

Sadat, a "nationalist" who is currently serving a prison term, announced plans to collect one million military, judiciary and intellectual signatories on a petition demanding the return of Eilat to Egypt.

Sadat was indicted on charges of posing a danger to Egyptian security forces, whom he blamed as being responsible for murdering his uncle, former president Anwar Sadat.

Sadat's decision to push for the return of Eilat raised a discussion in the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Committee, during which the Foreign Minister for Judicial Issues, Abd el Aziz Siff Elnasr said that Eilat, formerly Umm Rashrash, "is Palestinian and not Egyptian territory."

Elnasr clarified Egypt's official stand on the issue, namely that Egypt's international border with Israel was determined in the peace agreement signed between the two states on March 26, 1979, and "the permanent border between the two states is the border established during the British mandate, which never regarded Eilat as Egyptian territory."

Folks, Egypt honors the British Mandate. Palestinian Arabs do not. If they had honored it, they would have had their homeland already which was called Trans-Jordan.