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Thursday, 17 October 2019

Egypt's parliament to review Red Sea island deal with Saudi Arabia

A number of MPs have requested the government provide parliament with all documents related to a new maritime border deal handing over two Red Sea islands to the Gulf nation

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 12 Apr 2016
Parliament
A general view shows members of the Egyptian parliament attending the opening session at the main headquarters of Parliament in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016 (Reuters)
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Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – is soon expected to review a new technical deal aimed at drawing the maritime borders between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The deal, which leaves the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir within the regional waters of Saudi Arabia, has left MPs divided.

While some MPs agree that the two islands are historically part of Saudi Arabia's regional waters, others say the deal must be put to a public referendum.

On Monday, a number of MPs said the new Egypt-Saudi deal must be presented to parliament "very soon."

"[The deal] must also be corroborated with all the historical documents and maps showing that the two Islands are in fact part of Saudi territory," said MP Tarek El-Khouli.

El-Khouli, in an urgent statement to prime minister Sherif Ismail, said "it will be highly embarrassing for parliament to approve a deal without having all the complete and adequate information about it."

"We must get all the reports made by the committees that demarcated the new maritime borders between Egypt and Saudi Arabia," he said.

El-Khouli said Article 151 of the new constitution states that international agreements signed by the president of the republic must be ratified by parliament in order to be valid and effective.

MP Anwar El-Sadat also told reporters that a special committee must be formed by parliament to review the new deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"This committee must obtain all the necessary documents related to Egypt's eastern borders since 1906 and the letters exchanged between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the two islands since 1990," said El-Sadat.

Meanwhile, MPs and other leading officials affiliated with the Egyptian Social Democratic Party said they would collect signatures from ordinary citizens calling for rejecting the new deal with Saudi Arabia.

In an official statement, the party said the two Red Sea islands have been part of Egypt's regional waters since 1800, or one year after French leader Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt.

"The two islands have been on all the maps of Egypt since that date," the party said in a statement.

The statement also argued that Article 151 of the constitution is clear that all international agreements related to "sovereignty issues" must be put to a public referendum.

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5



neil
12-04-2016 11:16am
3-
83+
clarify
I would like the Parliament to prove that Egypt has followed the 'road map', and reject this latest offering of inept/corrupt technical committees that betray Egypt on behalf of Ethiopia and others, and of back-room boys who display unqualified contempt for and arrogance toward the Egyptian people beneath them, and nauseating obsequious to the Saudis and other above them. Any fair agreement between two parties would place their maritime borders at the half-way point between them, and not place one party in a position to close the straights to the other party. Also, why does Egypt refuse to share information with Italy, using the excuse of un-'constitution', while simultaneously insulting the constitution in violating the 1973 war peace treaty, etc., So Saudi heretics are their masters, while Italy is beneath them like Egypt's people and parliament.
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4



Allen
12-04-2016 04:48am
4-
28+
Egyptians have to remember one thing.
As much as some of you may feel indebted to the Saudies, as you should. You all have to remember one thing... Egypt's stability, and well being is even more important to the Saudi nation, and the Kingdom in particular. They know all too well, with all the terrorists in the region, when push comes to shove, they would rather have Egypt on their side. Given that, there really is no reason to make rash decisions, by giving any islands away, let alone TWO islands.
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Tim
12-04-2016 03:22am
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8+
All for a good friend
By giving up its land to its rich neighbor in exchange for aid, Egypt's cabinet gave an example to other bankrupt nations such as Greece, which refused to sell its islands to get a bailout, of how easy it is to find solution to its economy, if it ever would.
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Niama
12-04-2016 03:07am
3-
35+
Reject this Deal!!!
The president has acted corruptly and irresponsibly. This deal must be rejected. Time is of the essence. Egyptians must take to the streets, pressure parliament, and impose political costs on Sisi and all who have been complicit in this cheap sale of land, for which Egyptians fought and sacrificed. We must also know the backroom discussions that led to this catastrophic deal. Remember Salman was supposed to visit Cairo months ago, but did not. Surely these islands were on the agenda then. What happened in the months after to make this deal possible?
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Allen
11-04-2016 08:41pm
5-
51+
The real question here is...
Does this parliament have any power?
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