Egypt upper house okays bill scrapping Cyprus EEZ deal

The Shura Council, the upper house of the Egyptian bicameral Parliament, has approved a draft law that cancels the maritime borders of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Egypt and Cyprus, reports said Thursday.

Khaled Abdel Qader Ouda, the lawmaker who submitted the bill, said this invalidates the deal since Egypt had the right to be present at the signing, reports said.

He reportedly said a renegotiation could mean billions of dollars for Egypt.

In the past, Cyprus has signed delineation agreements with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon to pave the way for exploiting hydrocarbon deposits that criss-cross their boundaries.

The deal with Egypt was signed in February 2003.

The bill foresees the delineation of a new EEZ in the presence of Turkey as a third party.

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