Egypt’s Sisi ratifies agreement transferring Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

A picture taken on January 14, 2014 through the window of an airplane shows the Red Sea’s Tiran (foreground) and the Sanafir (background) islands.

:: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a maritime demarcation agreement that sees his country cede sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, the government said in a statement on Saturday.

The Egyptian parliament approved last Wednesday the demarcation of the maritime border with Saudi Arabia, which includes handing over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir located in the Red Sea at the southern entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia.

Parliament Speaker Ali Abdelaal announced the parliament’s approval of the agreement after the vote.

In April 2016, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed their maritime border demarcation agreement, under which Saudi Arabia would have the right to sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea at the Straits of Tiran to the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Egyptian Government has confirmed before parliament on Sunday that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir do in fact belong to Saudi Arabia, and Egypt has no sovereignty on them.

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