Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Egypt votes to give Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

Egypt's parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial maritime accord with Saudi Arabia that transfers two strategic Red Sea islands to the kingdom, state television and a lawmaker said.


The deal, which is still being challenged in an Egyptian court, sparked rare protests last year, with the opposition accusing the government of selling Egyptian territory to its Saudi benefactors.

The vote came after days of heated debate in parliament with opponents even interrupting one committee session with chanting.

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


  • Lawyers are now challenging the deal before the constitutional court, and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will have to ratify it.


The accord had sparked rare protests in Egypt, with Sisi accused of having traded the islands of Tiran and Sanafir for Saudi largesse.

The government has said the islands were Saudi to begin with, but were leased to Egypt in the 1950s.

Opponents of the agreement insist that Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian...
 [france24.com/AFP]
14/6/17
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