What Does Article 151 in the New Egyptian Constitution Mean?

Ayman NourPerhaps one of the outcomes of the Egyptian revolt that interests both Western observers and of course Israel is whether a new government will honor the Peace Treaty Anwar Sadat signed with Israel.  The current leaders of the Military Council have made it clear that they will continue to honor all treaties, including Egypt’s treaty with Israel, but then again this is no surprise as the military leaders like Tantawi are from Mubarak’s regime and will keep his policies in place until a civilian government will take over.

The key to this question is in make up of the new Egyptian Constitution.  From there one can see a clear direction being led towards abrogating the treaty with Israel.  Let’s look at the wording:

“Article 151: The President’s Power to Conclude Treaties

Original text:

However, treaties of peace and alliance, trade and navigation, and all treaties, involving modifications in the territory of the State or those concerning sovereignty rights or which entail additional expenditure not contained in the budget, must be approved by parliament.

Amendments to the old Constitution

The President is only to conclude all treaties after a referendum in the People’s Assembly and the treaty will have the force of law only after ratification. “

At first glance this amendment makes sense and in most Western Countries this is the way it works, but this isn’t the West and this is a huge loophole to allow a future Egyptian Parliament most like made up of Muslim Brotherhood members and those like Ayman Nour who have already stated that they would interested in doing away with the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Unfortunately this misguided policy will add to more instability to the Middle East and will have  a negative impact on Egyptian citizens.