In response to the criticism directed at the Egyptian government after it allowed a Chinese ship heading to Syria to pass through the Suez Canal, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood said that Egypt does not have the right to control traffic in the strategic waterway.
“Egypt does not have the right to prevent any ship from passing through the Suez Canal,” wrote leading Brotherhood member Hassan al-Prince on his Twitter account.
Prince explained that the only exception to this rule is if the ship belongs to a country with which Egypt is in a state of war.
“The passage of ships in the Suez Canal is regulated by the Istanbul Treaty signed in 1888.”
Prince called upon the relevant authorities to publish the text of the treaty so that its terms are clear to all.
The Syrian opposition had slammed the Egyptian government for allowing a Chinese ship loaded with arms to pass through the Suez Canal. According to the opposition, the ship was carrying ammunition to the Syrian regime to be used in its brutal clampdown against the revolutionaries.
However, a military source denied allegations that the Chinese ship was carrying weapons to Syria saying it was loaded with regular commodities and heading to Ukraine, not Syria.
“The ship passed through the Suez Canal in accordance with all international treaties and no law was violated,” the source told the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.
The Facebook page of Hamza al-Khatib, the 13-year-old Syrian who was brutally killed by regime forces, launched a fierce campaign against Egypt and its president for allowing the ship to pass.
“We thank Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi 2038 times for allowing Chinese ship loaded with weapons to pass,” the page’s administrator wrote in reference to the load of the Chinese ship, 2038 tons.
“We feel sorry that at some point we thought we could count on the Egyptian president for supporting the Syrian revolution.”