Minister for International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga met on Wednesday with British Ambassador to Egypt Dominic Asquith to discuss a project for mine clearance along Egypt’s northern coast.
Abul Nagaa stressed the importance of British support for Egyptian efforts to execute the national demining plan in the area, alluding to the fact that the British army during the Second World War planted around 17 million mines along Egypt's Mediterranean coast.
Egypt's northern coastal region is rich in resources and represents roughly one quarter of the nation's total land mass.
In the area of al-Alamein, where battles between Allied and Axis powers took place, Britain, Germany, Italy and France laid mines as artificial barriers to compensate for the lack of natural barriers in the western desert. The vast fields of mines have caused thousands of casualties, numbering around 10,000 victims, including children and civilians, according to Egyptian records.
The presence of the mines hinders development, agriculture and oil prospecting in the area, analysts say.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.