Tiran Island - CC Wikimedia
CAIRO – 14 June 2017: Parliament’s National Defense Committee (NDC) will discuss the Egypt-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement regarding the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir on Wednesday. The NDC will join the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee in a discussion in the presence of government’s representatives, NDC Chief General Kamal Amer told reporters on Tuesday.
Amer confirmed that technical, historical and geographical aspects of the territorial dispute were previously discussed by the relevant experts during three days of talks headed by the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Wednesday’s sitting will focus on the national security aspect of the case.
The Parliament passed a majority vote to refer the case to the NDC on Tuesday. “We took enough time to discuss and study all documents that prove Saudi ownership of the Tiran and Sanafir islands,” Amer added.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr. Ali Abdel Aal stressed that the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee concluded that there is no constitutional violation in the border deal with Saudi Arabia. “Article 151 of the Constitution states the maritime border demarcation deal does not require a public referendum to be approved,” Abdel Aal added.
Tiran and Sanafir are located in the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Egyptian officials say they belong to Saudi Arabia and have been under former Egyptian control only because Riyadh requested Cairo to protect them in 1950.