CAIRO – 25 April 2017: Member in the Egyptian Parliament submitted a proposal to the cabinet Monday, to establish a new ministry in charge of developing North Sinai Peninsula.
The ministry should be in charge of developing the infrastructure of the whole region and starting a project to build a transportation network and prepare Sinai for foreign investments, MP Tadros Kaldas stated.
“Development [in Sinai] should not stop at fighting terrorism. It should move in parallel to create a real environment for development and investment,” Kaldas said.
The proposal has raised controversy within the House of Representatives.
MP Sarah Saleh called Tuesday for an open session to discuss the establishment of the ministry, stressing that the existing ministries are not directly in charge of the development plan in Sinai. She called for an open discussion at the parliament to showcase all positive outcomes that will come out of the ministry.
During the session, all MPs should contribute with their thoughts on the issue and all arguments for and against the proposal shall be explained, Saleh stated, adding that a clear timeline and fixed measures to pursue the development plan in Sinai must be put forward.
Meanwhile, MP Mohamed el-Fayoumy, member of the Local Administration Committee in the parliament, stated that the development plan can only be executed once Sinai is stable and secure. He praised the efforts put forth to combat terrorism and the success of recent operations against terrorists.
“A new ministry will open the door for all frontier governorates to demand the same, which is unacceptable,” Fayoumy said, wondering whether this proposed ministry will take away the powers of other ministries.
He further called for all concerned ministries to coordinate their efforts to pursue the development plan.
MP Tamer el-Shahawy, member of the parliament’s Defense and National Security Committee, stated that “the real development will be in the development of a new governorate of central Sinai and creating one body linking the three provinces to implement the development plan.”
Sinai is a triangular peninsula in eastern Egypt, located on the Red Sea between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Most of the Sinai Peninsula is divided among two Egyptian governorates, North and South Sinai. Three more governorates – Suez, Ismailia and Port Said – span the Suez Canal, crossing into mainland Egypt.