Uproar headlines Parliament’s discussion of Red Sea Islands agreement

Massive disputes erupted on Sunday among Egypt’s Parliament members while discussing the maritime demarcation agreement that grants Saudi Arabia sovereignty over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanfir.

According to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, verbal quarrels erupted between a number of MPs in opposition of the deal and the government’s representatives, with the former claiming they did not see the original documents of the deal signed between Egypt and Saudi Arabia until now.

Recently, prominent lawyer Khalid Ali managed to obtain judicial verdicts from Egypt’s supreme courts that asserted Egyptian sovereignty over the two islands.

However, the Egyptian government is still considering the Red Sea islands as Saudi property, claiming that in 1950 the late Saudi King Abdel Aziz Al-Saud asked Egypt to impose military guardianship on the islands.

Meanwhile, during his speech in the parliamentary session, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry asserted that the agreement was signed after 11 negotiation sessions between both countries in the presence of Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the General Intelligence Apparatuses.

Moreover, Shokry added that the deal was previously accredited in 1990 by former president Muhammed Hosni Mubarak and the cabinet presented at the time, saying that Egypt will maintain its obligations regarding international peace agreements held with other countries.

Regarding the Egyptian peace agreement with Israel, Shokry clarified that Egypt communicated with Israeli authorities to guarantee that they will abide by all agreements after sovereignty is transferred to Saudi Arabia, stating that, “the agreement is not considered a violation to [Israel’s] peace agreement with Egypt.”

“The matter now is in your hands, you have the final decision” he concluded.



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