Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sisi: Controversy Surrounding Red Sea Islands is Weakening Egypt
Thursday, 14 April 2016 15:40

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi said yesterday that his government did not "give up Egypt’s rights” when it signed the agreement of re-draw its maritime border with Saudi Arabia, ensuring the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea fall under Saudi jurisdiction. “Rejecting the agreement weakens Egypt's position,” he warned.

In a speech in front of politicians, intellectuals and journalists broadcast live on state television, Al-Sisi said: "We did not surrender our right, and we returned the right back to its people,” adding that there are documents which confirm that the islands are Saudi.

He criticised the debate on the matter and the broad rejection of Egypt’s actions, saying that: "The way the issue has been addressed weakens Egypt's position."

Egypt had only two choices with regards the islands “either enter into a conflict with Saudi Arabia, or giving Saudi back its land and right."

“We will not infringe on anyone. Also, we will not give away our land to anyone, and will not take anyone’s land."

The implementation of the agreement to re-draw the country’s maritime borders with Saudi Arabia is subject to approval by the House of Representatives, he explained.

"The parliament will debate this agreement; it is up to the parliament to either pass or reject it."

Observers say that the House of Representatives is dominated by a majority of MPs who are in favour of the Egyptian regime; making the adoption of the agreement almost certain.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman signed an agreement to re-draw the maritime borders between their two countries during a visit by Saudi monarch King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to Egypt last week.

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