Egypt Independent

Dispute over Toshka project land over, Saudi prince says



Saudi Prince al-Walid bin Talal has announced that the dispute with Egypt on Toshka project land is resolved, after a "final" agreement with the Egyptian agriculture ministry.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in Riyadh, al-Walid said in press releases that his Kingdom Agricultural Development Co. (KADCO) will return 75,000 acres of land to Egypt and keep 25,000 for cultivation.

In 1997, the Egyptian government sold 100,000 acres of state-owned land in the Toshka land reclamation project to the company. Al-Walid paid only LE50 — less than US$10 — per acre and received discounted rates for utilities and tax exemptions, according to the contract.

The former agriculture minister involved with the deal, Youssef Wali, said during investigations that al-Walid had set his own terms for the purchase price and presented the contract to former President Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Walid said in the statements that his investments in Egypt are estimated at US$2 billion across different sectors.

He said Saudi investors will work with anyone the Egyptians select to represent them.

Translated from the Arabic Edition