By Nada Badawi
Egypt received $398.5m in revenues from the Suez Canal in March, according to a statement made by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on Saturday.
The figure shows a noticeable increase in revenues compared with revenues from the month of February, which totalled $375.3m.
However, the figure represents a 12.3% drop in comparison to revenues generated in March 2012, which reached $428m.
The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea, is one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency revenues, along with tourism, oil and gas exports, and remittances from Egyptian expatriates.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, President Mohamed Morsi laughed off rumours that Qatar is going to buy the Suez Canal, saying there are no secret deals between the two countries.
“Talking about buying and selling the Suez Canal is ridiculous. It’s a joke. The land of Egypt is forbidden for non-Egyptians. There is no secret deal between Egypt and Qatar,” said Morsi.
He said Egypt wanted to continue good relations with all countries, including Qatar.
“What is special about our relationship with Qatar is that it gave us more support in hard times,” he said. “Qatar stood with the Egyptian revolution. There is mutual love and respect between the people of Qatar and Egypt.”
Egypt’s foreign currency reserves have been in decline since the January 2011 Revolution.
The reserves fell critically low to $13.5bn this year, which is less than is required to cover three months of vital imports.