Monday, April 11, 2016

Egypt just gave Saudi Arabia two strategically located islands

Egypt gave Saudi Arabia the islands of Tiran and Sanafir today. They are at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, which Israel and Jordan need access to if it wants to reach the Red Sea. The natives are restless. From a 1982 New York Times article:

"Israel has also asked Egypt and the United States to agree that a permanent outpost of the international force in Sinai be established on the island of Tiran to patrol Tiran and Sanafir, which control the narrow strait into the Gulf of Aqaba.
The two islands were transferred by Saudi Arabia to Egyptian control in 1950 because the Saudis feared an Israeli attempt to seize them. Along with the rest of Sinai, they fell under Israeli control in the 1967 war, but Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahd said recently that he would ask Egypt, after regaining them in April, to return them to Saudi sovereignty.
Israel fears that Egypt, attempting to repair relations with the Saudis, might make such a transfer, and has told the Egyptian Government firmly that this would constitute a violation of the peace treaty."
Hat tip to Ramon.

1 comment:

Ripituc said...

I'm shocked... I had assumed the islands were much smaller, who would give away islands like this, anyway? I'd like to really know what Egypt gets from this, but we might never know (it will probably end in Panama).