Economy

Egyptian parliamentary committee backs Red Sea islands transfer to Saudi Arabia

Egyptian parliamentary committee backs Red Sea islands transfer to Saudi Arabia”

Saudi Arabia and Egypt had signed on April 18, 2016 an agreement to demarcate the sea borders that would see the islands of Tiran and Sanafir handed over to the Kingdom. He said the maps were being shared "on objective by certain bodies to stir up public opinion". Along with other charges, authorities in all three Gulf countries accuse the wealthy Gulf sheikdom of supporting and financing the Muslim Brotherhood, which promoted Mursi for president and is banned in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia announced that it would honor all of Egypt's commitments when it gains control of the islands.

The treaty was introduced to Parliament days after Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in cutting ties with Qatar.

Head of the Press Syndicate Abdelmohsen Salama said on Tuesday that the syndicate would not be part of any political conflict, asserting during a press conference that the syndicate's council did not receive any requests to organise sit-ins or protests. Farouk had suggested that the islands were Egyptian, to which Mansour objected.

But Muhammad Akl, a member of the committee, told Al-Ahram online that he rejected the deal because it was pushed through without adequate discussion.

After months of debates and protests in Cairo, the territorial dispute is back in the parliamentary spotlight.

In 2013, Saudi Arabia supported el-Sisi as he toppled Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi who was a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood. The deal has been the subject of a fight in the country's courts, and has prompted critics to say it's "selling" Egyptian land.

Courts had struck down the agreement, signed in April 2016, but a year later another court upheld it.

The Egyptian parliament has finally sealed a controversial agreement for the transfer of sovereignty of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia.

The rights lawyer who led the legal campaign against the agreement, Khaled Ali, is on trial for allegedly making an obscene hand gesture on the street outside the courthouse where the ruling against the deal was pronounced in January.

A brawl broke out in the Egyptian parliament on Sunday during the first round of negotiations over the agreement. However, Cairo's Urgent Matters Court later annulled the reason of the Administrative Court to annul the agreement and ordered the resumption of the agreement.



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