Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mervat El-Tallawy’s Interview In Al Masry Al Youm

In any respectable country an interview like the interview of former minister and ambassador Mervat El-Tallawy in Al Masry Al Youm should cause a huge political controversy and uproar in the country. The former minister of insurance and social  affairs is saying that Youssef Ghali , the minister of finance wanted to put our pensions money in some American bank !! Yes he wanted to invest our money in an American bank and this lady answered him saying

This meeting is over !!

What the former UN official has said in this interview opens lots of files and raises many questions which up till now I have seen them being asked in the media. The incident that I mentioned above is just tallawy the tip of the ice-berg.

There should be inquiries on why she was being forced by former prime minister Kamel Ganzouri to sell Egypt telecom booming stocks so someone in the shadow would buy them. The former ambassador believed that it was better to allocate 10% of the privatized companies stocks to social insurance , she also believed that the ministry of social insurance should have owned some specific privatized companies.

The ministry of insurance and social affairs during her term fully owned the Assuit cement company  which was from the most successful companies in Egypt. For some reason again they forced her to leave the company in order to privatize it. She was not with privatization because she believes selling one of Egypt’s top cement companies to foreign investors during a housing crisis in the country is not in our best interest ; still she had to do it.

She also wanted to buy the City Stars land , she wanted to have a similar project like the one there , the only difference she wanted its revenue to be dedicated to the “Nour Wal Amal” Charity that looks after blind girls. Just like me she believes Omar Effendi was better 10 times when it was publicly owned.

Tallawy claims that she was forced to invest the pensions in the stock market by state order so the regime can prove that the stock market is safe. She is angry that pensions now under the control of Ghali which is unconstitutional according to her.

Of course it is logic to ask why she did not come to the media back then and revealed all that but we must remember that now she is speaking while  enjoying UN immunity. She claims that she could go to Suzanne Mubarak because the first lady does not have executive position plus her direct superior was prime minister Ganzouri. I do not buy this , either she is really respectable lady who does not know the real system of the regime of this or she is trying to justify her silence in front of these crimes.

Tallawy tackled very important issue which is the development of Sinai and surprising Hala’ib triangle. She belongs to the same club that believes we should send 3 million Egypt at least to Sinai , same thing to Hala'ib triangle which she believes its Egyptian identity . I think I will read more about Hala'ib triangle's to know

Mervat El-Tallawy seems to me a smart , very smart lady and if she wants to clean her hands from the crimes of the regime for real then she must speak more and more.


  1. Sudanese Observer1/28/2010 02:04:00 PM

    Develop Halayeb triangle as much as you want - truth and justice will never be oushadowed by buildings.
    Halayeb is Sudanese territory which is under illegal military occupation by Egypt since the mid 1990's - and the vast majority of political parties in Sudan which are contesting the upcoming elections in April have made their rejection of the current status quo known.
    The interviewed woman can hold as many interviews as she likes and enjoy the benefits of diplomatic immunity for life - but what she said regarding Halayeb is an unforgivable crime against 'all' the Sudanese.

  2. My dear Halayeb triangle has been Egyptian before Mohamed Ali Pasha.
    Before you speak about the triangle speak about the South of Sudan.

  3. Sudanese Observer1/28/2010 11:16:00 PM

    What about the South of Sudan?
    We recognize the principle of self-determination of peoples just as we believe in the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of water resources as reflected in our vote for the UN Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of Watercourses...
    You offer absolutely no evidence regarding Halayeb being Egyptian before Muhammad Ali... One of the bases upon which sovereignty is determined is through the determination of the indigenous population of the area and I don't believe that you know about the cultural demographic anthropology of the Beja, the Abaabda, the Bishaariyeen and the Abdalaab more than Musa Muhammad Ahmad the Sudanese Presidential Advisor and head of the Beja Congress and Eastern Front and Mabrouk Mubaarak Salim head of the Sudanese Rashaida Free Lions... They have demanded that the Halayeb dispute that was brought before the Security Council in 1957 by Sudan be resolved through international arbitration but...this is as stubbornly rejected by the Egyptian side as any application of contemporary international law principles towards a new legal regime for the Nile...
    And with regards to South Sudan it's the Egyptian government that is adamant on forcing the Southern Sudanese nation to remain within a united Sudan... Halayeb is under something known as military annexation through illegal invasion and the peoples of Halayeb have been denied their constitutional rights to participate in Sudan's legislative and Presidential elections. I respect the work that goes into your blog and you have very diplomatically refused to comment on issues affecting Sudan but in this case if I may sakatti jahran as na6aqti kufran.

  4. Dear Sudanese Observer, first and before all, i want to salute you for your patriotic sense; I totally respect a man standing up for the cause of our people especially when done in a rational and civilized manner seeking mutual understanding rather than the usual finger pointing.

    as for the Halayeb Triangle, i think we should separate 3 things: The Current Ethnic status (or "cultural demographic anthropology", I love the term), the historical Background and the Border dispute.

    First, the Ethnic Status of the triangle

    I Wouldn't question or even argue the strong tribal roots Halayeb's Inhabitants share with their brothers in Sudan, or even try to undermine their cultural unity, but it is not an uncommon situation for a territory to be  historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another ; it’s a very common political case, called Irredenta (I’m sure you are familiar with the term)

    Irredentism my friend is commonplace in Africa, Asia as well as parts of Eastern Europe and the near east due to the artificially enforced political boundaries of former European colonial nation-states often passing through tribal boundaries, which is exactly the case with Halayeb, but this alone doesn’t fully justify a territorial claim or condemn the controlling state of military annexation. Similar situations exist allover the world, yet we don’t consider California, Texas or northern Ireland as occupied territories.

    Second, The historical Background
    Halaybe itself was built on the ruins of the old Egyptain Port of Aydhab, which was established by Egypt during the Ptolemaic period, and being a strategic port -at the time- it fell under many attacks & occupations ever since. The Beja, Crusaders, Nubians, all took turns attempting control , and all were to be defeated back by Egyptian forces reclaiming the area under the Egyptian state of the time (Whether Fatimid, Mamluk…etc); even Abul Feda , the famous Historian and Geographer, clearly stated that the Area Belonged to Egypt as early as the 1300s [Robert Kerr, A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI] long before Muhammed Ali.

    The remarkable thing is, even at that time, Egypt recognized the tribal roots and importance of the Area as a bridge for Cultural as well as Economic exchange with its southern neighbors; Egypt had allowed Beja official representation in the city, and even granted them a share of trade/tax income [Same ref. as above, Footnote 342].

    After the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement in 1899 that defined the borderline between Egypt and Sudan along the 22nd latitude line, Egypt as put the Area under Sudanese Administration in 1902 (by a letter and a decree from the Ministry of Interior) “to facilitate the administration of nomadic tribes”. (I.e. it‘s merely an administrative command Far from being an international treaty which would have needed to be signed by the British Government and wouldn’t have been issued single handedly by the ministry of interior)

    Third, The current Border Dispute

    Last but not least, the current dispute has nothing to do with the welfare of the inhabitants of Halayeb or their constitutional right to vote (since when does anybody care about that!!). This is a classic dispute over Exploration Concession for the waters off the shore of the Triangle n area which may be rich in manganese, minerals and oil,; it all started when The Government of Sudan wanted to sell Exploration Concessions to International Petroleum Company of Canada (before that the issue was almost never raised, except once during the Nasser regime).

    My Friend this is not intended to be a dispute between the Egyptian and Sudanese people, the area has been living a double life for centuries, carrying a mixed identity.
    Last... I just want to say that The cause (as almost any other cause nowadays) is being fueled, oversized and used by politicians on both sides for mere propaganda, fake nationalism and Public Image.

  5. @!!?, thank you so much for such argument , thank you so much for sharing this information which I believe each Egyptian should know

  6. Sudanese Optimist1/30/2010 06:26:00 PM


    If you read my comments on this blog you would know that I am consistently against finger pointing and blind Egyptian apologism, which its perpetrators do defensively and with the intention of being patriotic, but which does nothing to further Egypt's interests or image.

    I salute your post which was civilised, in spite of the fact that I question its objectivity and reject its content.

    For your information, the issue of Halayeb was invoked by President Sadat, but the Sudanese leadership managed to contain the issue.

    I believe the reasons for Egypt's illegal military occupation and annexation of Halayeb to be a reaction and show of force against Sudan's hosting at that time (at the behest of Dr. Hassan Turabi), of Egyptian opposition elements who were bent on removing the Egyptian regime by force.

    But let's assume for the sake of argument that the off-shore exploration concessions were the reasons for Egypt's illegal military occupation and annexation of Halayeb - this merely shoots Egypt's case for Halayeb in the foot - unlike uninhabited islands in the South China Sea which are subject to contesting sovereignty claims, Halayeb has been consistently populated by a distinct indigenous population whose history extends into antiquity - thereby nullifying the doctrine of 'terra nullius' with regards to the initial imposition of forced military occupation of Halayeb.

    Regarding the following point:
    The cause (as almost any other cause nowadays) is being fueled, oversized and used by politicians on both sides for mere propaganda, fake nationalism and Public Image

    This statement is a broad-brushed generalisation, and generalisations do not work within a comparative Sudanese-Egyptian context because of the stark substantive differences in the political, national, ethnic and historical composition of both countries.

    The point you made conceding the 'Sudaneseness' if that term exists, of Halayeb's indigenous population refutes the point you made that is attached above.

    Halayeb, as a homeland predates the Egyptian port of Aidab and was under Nubian control (based in modern day Sudan) before being controlled by the sovereigns of either Lower or Upper Egypt or both - and this can be historically verified.

    Egyptian control or subjugation of Halayeb was interrupted many times and the pilgrims who used to cross the Red Sea from there historically - from Sudan and West Africa did not pass through Egyptian controlled territory - prior to Muhammad Ali's invasion of Sudan in 1820.

    As for the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement, there is much academic discussion as to the validity of these types of agreements that were made 'on behalf of occupied peoples' - the same applied to the Nile Agreements by the way...

    The intertemporal doctrine (the change over time of legal principles) applies to the unqualified parallels you drew between California, Texas - and Halayeb...

    I suggest that you look into doctrinal academic discussions on Territorial Sovereignty and Title to Territory in Public International Law.
    There is ample case law from the International Court of Justice on this issue.
    Egypt has experience in this regard regarding its international arbitration with Israel over Taba, and most recently the ICJ considered these issues with regards to Abyei on the North Sudan - South Sudan border.

    If you take a look at ICJ case law and current territorial disputes you will find more and more credence being given to the cultural, demographic anthropology of indigenous populations.

  7. Sudanese Optimist1/30/2010 06:27:00 PM

    @ ??!

    Your statement is difficult to decipher:

    'the current dispute has nothing to do with the welfare of the inhabitants of Halayeb or their constitutional right to vote (since when does anybody care about that!!'

    Which people are you making assumptions about? Are you speaking of the Egyptian perspective or the Sudanese offical (NCP) perspective or the Sudanese Beja political perspective or the Sudanese opposition perspective or the Sudanese historical perspective or current day Sudanese popular opinion - and are you aware of any of the above?

    Part of Sudan's case against Egypt with regards to Halayeb would be based on the same premises as those used by Egypt against Israel with regards to territorial sovereignty over Taba.
    And Egypt was awarded territorial sovereignty over Taba so myself and other Sudanese wonder why Egypt will not agree to international arbitration over Halayeb...

    The effect of the illegal military occupation of Halayeb and its forced military annexation is the denial of the peoples of Halayeb their historical and cultural rights which are represented in the 2005 Interim Constitution of Sudan.

    The current status quo harms Egyptian interests in Sudan currently, and in the future.

    Rejecting occupation is logical not laudable.

    And Zeinobia I wonder what you know about the culture of the peoples of Halayeb...or is the issue one of 'blind' patriotism - following the official Egyptian political line come what may?

    The simple Sudanese demand is for the Egyptians to agree to refer the dispute to International Arbitration just like what Egypt did with Israel over the dispute over Taba.

  8. مصر تاج راسك

  9. Sudanese Optimist said...

    "The simple Sudanese demand is for the Egyptians to agree to refer the dispute to International Arbitration just like what Egypt did with Israel over the dispute over Taba."

    I fully agree

  10. Sudanese Optimist5/18/2010 12:21:00 AM

    Very good this is the official line of the Beja Congress in Sudan.

    Let us hope your reasonable stance becomes accepted by more and more Egyptians, by more Egyptian intellectuals and ultimately by official Egypt.

    I like the objective self-crticism in this article which is written by a seasoned former Egyptian diplomat who is the only Egyptian columnist in a Sudanese daily.

    خيارات مصر فى أزمة مياه النيل

  11. محمد said...
    مصر تاج راسك

    الكلام موجه لمن؟

    ان كان موجه للشعب السوداني فالعبارة لا قيمة لها

    مصر "دولة جوار" لها اسهاماتها في تاريخ البشرية و كذلك ايثيوبيا "دولة جوار" لها اسهاماتها في تاريخ البشرية

    كما تُعامِل - تُعامَلْ

    كما تُعامِل - تُعامَلْ

    كما تُعامِل - تُعامَلْ


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