The Suez Canal Authority is committed to a ban on allowing Qatari ships to dock in ports within the Suez Canal’s economic zone, Ahram reported as chairman Mohab Mamish saying.
In press statements on Friday, Mamish said that Egyptian ban on the ships is being imposed on all ports within the zone based on Egyptian sovereignty over its territorial waters.
The decision, however, does not include a ban on passing through the canal, as under the Constantinople 1869 agreement it is illegal to ban ships coming from any country from passing through.
Egypt cannot ban Qatari ships from crossing the vital waterway, although the North African country, along with Saudi Arabia and its allies, has severed ties with Qatar, he said.
The authority is abiding by the Egyptian government’s decision to cut relations with Qatar, but international treaties prevent Cairo from blocking the waterway to Qatari vessels.
Mamish pointed out that the revenues of the canal would not be affected by the ban due to the already low number of Qatari ships that dock in the ports.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed punitive measures, accusing the gas-rich country of “supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.” The four Arab countries then issued a list of 13 demands to end rift with Doha including closing Al-Jazeera television and reducing diplomatic ties with Iran.