Egypt making a power play to screw Israel in the Mediterranean?

March 7, 2013

(h/t JE)(EOZ)There was a somewhat cryptic article in Egypt Independent today:

The Shura Council’s legislative committee approved a draft law submitted Wednesday cancelling current maritime borders of an economic zone between Egypt and Cyprus.
The proposed bill was submitted by MP Khaled Abdel Qader Ouda, who said the agreement was signed by Cyprus and Israel in February 2003.
He said this invalidates the deal since Egypt had the right to be present at the signing, according to international agreements.
Ouda argues that the renegotiation could mean billions of dollars for Egypt.
The draft law calls for the creation of new borders surrounding the economic zone in the presence of Turkey as a third party.

Apparently, Ouda is referring to the Egypt/Cyprus EEZ agreement of 2003, which states:

If either of the two Parties is engaged in negotiations aimed at the delimitation of its exclusive economic zone with another State, that Party, before reaching a final agreement with the other State, shall notify and consult the other Party, if such delimitation is in connection with coordinates 1 or 8.

Egypt apparently is claiming that the 2010 Israel/Cyprus EEZ agreement is subject to Egypt’s approval, and Egypt is (retroactively?) disapproving it.
Coordinate 8 in the Egypt/Cyprus agreement happens to be coordinate 12 in the Israel/Cyprus agreement,32º 53′ 20″ latitude and 32º 58′ 20″ longitude, seen here:

Lebanon has also challenged the Israel/Cyprus agreement. 
But if Egypt is trying to bring Turkey into this, to carve up the areas now assigned to Israel and Cyprus, it might really turn into a mess. 
This is worth watching.

How can Egypt retroactively disapprove something three years ago? Throwing financial aid at Egypt when they behave hostile is a very bad idea.