The cabinet is set to review the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) and Saudi satellite network MBC, as per orders issued by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb on Tuesday.
The prime minister said that he is entitled to do so in his capacity as prime minister, denying that the MoU had been cancelled.
“I realised that the memorandum is not legally binding,” Mehleb told private-owned satellite channel Mehwar. He added that the memorandum will be presented to the cabinet to “study” it, describing the process as “normal”. “Any decision taken regarding the memorandum will be “in the nation’s best interest,” he said.
The Memorandum of Understanding is a signed protocol between ERTU and MBC to document joint media cooperation between the two entities. MBC stated on its official website that the agreement was signed in the presence of Egyptian Media Minister Doreya Sharaf Al-Din and ERTU Chairman Essam Al-Amir.
The cooperation involves several media aspects such as cooperation in the production of shows, television series and films, MBC said.
MBC hosts the weekly show of controversial satirist Bassem Youssef “Al-Bernameg”. The Saudi network has suffered from signal jamming more than once during the airing of “Al-Bernameg”.
MBC Misr described the jamming as “deliberate”, claiming that it came from outside sources.
Youssef moved to MBC Misr in February after his contract with Egyptian private-owned satellite network CBC was abruptly terminated.
The show was suspended by CBC on 2 November, a few minutes before the second episode of the third season was scheduled to air.
The first episode of Youssef’s third season on CBC created controversy when the satirist took jabs at the cult of personality surrounding former Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Youssef was also critical of Islamist personalities and interim President Adly Mansour.