Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the canal economic zone, Mohab Mamish announced on Friday that Qatari ships will be barred from the zone in line with decisions to prevent Qatari vessels from passing through these ports or entering them.
His announcement came in light of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt’s severing of diplomatic ties with Doha, reported the Asharq al-Awsat news agency.
Friday’s decision was out of keenness on Egypt’s national security, added Mamish.
Any decision issued by the state of Egypt related to the Arab boycott will be effective throughout all ports in the economic zone, because it lies in territorial waters that are governed by the state of Egypt, which decides on the passage of ships or not, he explained.
This does not however apply to the Suez Canal, he stressed.
Mamish said that based on the 1869 Constantinople convention, the Canal is committed to international agreements that were signed by the Egyptian state.
The Canal therefore is part of the international maritime system and should not be shut off to passing ships.
Mamish said that the Qatari vessels that are crossing in the area are not loaded with cargo, but they are mainly loaded with gas and therefore cannot be barred passage.