Govt says Saudi land deal in Toshka was a mistake

Sharm el-Sheikh–Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza admitted on Wednesday that the government made a mistake in the contract signed with Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal for his land reclamation project, in southern Egyptian region of Toshka.

Abaza said the contract did not give a deadline for the investor to complete his project, which means the government is powerless to withdraw the land from Talal.

"But we have reached a compromise," Abaza said. "We will only supply him with the amounts of water that are enough for each stage he has completed in his project."

Talal was given 100,000 acres and good terms of payment for his project.

"Talal owns the land but we have the water, which is the main source for his project to survive," he added.

The minster said El-Raghi Company, another investor in Toshka, has completed a good part of its project, compared to Talal.

"We back up serious investors," Abaza said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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