Mohab Mamish, chief of the Suez Canal Authority, said Egyptian authorities cannot prevent passage of the U.S. warships through the canal according to the 1888 Constantinople Convention of the Suez Canal, which Egypt had signed on.
“The agreement states that Egypt can deny access of any vessels of enemy countries in case of being in war with Egypt only, otherwise we cannot prevent passage of any countries’ ships,” Mamish told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
“Taking the decision to ban U.S. vessels or any ships going to take part in military actions against Syria will be taken as pretext for interference within Egypt’s local affairs to hinder crossing through the international navigational canal, which violates the international agreements,” Mamish added.
“It’s a trap that we will not get caught in,” he said adding that Egypt respects all international treaties that it signed.
Western countries, lead by the U.S., ponder carrying out military strikes against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for alleged use of chemical weapons in his operations against opposition in Damascus last month. International stance is divided between the U.S. which postponed the strike until the Congress votes on it and the British parliament which rejected the strike.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm