Red Sea islands move delights Saudi citizens

Red Sea islands move delights Saudi citizens
Updated 11 April 2016

Red Sea islands move delights Saudi citizens

Red Sea islands move delights Saudi citizens

RIYADH: Egypt’s move to hand over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to their real owner, Saudi Arabia, has been welcomed by a number of citizens as a decision that was long overdue.
Cairo made the goodwill gesture on the islands during the ongoing visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
“The joint Egyptian-Saudi technical maritime border drawing has determined that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir fall within regional Saudi maritime waters,” the Egyptian Cabinet said.
The Cabinet statement added that the determination that the two islands fall within Saudi regional waters is the culmination of a six-year process of studies and 11 rounds of negotiations between the two sides.

Mohammed Zeyad, a public relations executive in Riyadh, said the two friendly countries have finally reached consensus on the handing over of the islands. This historic decision was made during King Salman’s Cairo visit, he said.
Abdullah Inayat, an event manager, applauded Cairo for the positive gesture, saying that it is a landmark decision by the Egyptian Cabinet and will further bolster relations between the two countries.
Mohammad Al-Suwaileh, a travel and tourism executive, said the decision on handing over the islands will surely promote island tourism.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismael inked the border demarcation accord in the presence of King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the presidential palace in Cairo. It will now be presented to Parliament for final ratification.
Tiran and Sanafir islands are located at the entrance of the Straits of Tiran, which separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aqaba. It is part of the Ras Mohammed National Park, an area of about 80 sq km.
Tiran Island is of strategic significance as it forms the narrowest section of the Straits of Tiran, which is an important sea passage to the major ports of Aqaba in Jordan, and Eilat in Israel, which briefly took over Tiran Island during the Suez Crisis and again from 1967 to 1982, when the Camp David peace accord was signed with Egypt handing them possession.
In 2010, Egypt and Saudi Arabia formally began discussing the drawing of their maritime borders, including ownership of the two islands.