Egypt does not need permission to increase troops in Sinai, Air Force chief Reda Hafez said Thursday.
“Sinai is our land, we do not need permission for a troop surge on our own lands,” Hafez said during a news conference marking Air Force Day.
He asserted that Egypt is not waiting for amendments to the 1979 Camp David treaty with Israel to increase forces on the peninsula. The US-brokered treaty limits Egyptian security presence in the border region.
Egypt complains that the treaty limits affect border policing and hinder its efforts to combat smuggling and other crimes.
“Egyptian aircrafts conduct patrols to secure all Egyptian borders, including its eastern borders,” Hafez said in reference to its border with Israel. He also highlighted the Air Force’s role in securing events such as the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“We do not wait for agreements, this is our land and we do what we believe is best in the interest of our border security. We do not wait for permission.”
Asked about the possibility of the US cutting its military aid to Egypt, Hafez replied “our armed forces rely on multiple sources for arming," including countries with which Egypt does not have aid agreements. He also said the military is well-prepared to counter the effects of any potential US aid cuts.
Translated from the Arabic Edition