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Publish Date : Thursday 15 June 2017 - 06:06
Egypt Committee Approves Islands Transfer to Saudis, Public Opposes Move
Egypt Committee Approves Islands Transfer to Saudis, Public Opposes Move
Islam Times - An Egyptian parliamentary committee voted Tuesday to approve a controversial 2016 deal to transfer two Red Sea islands to the Saudi regime.
The planned transfer of the islands sparked the biggest protests against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's presidency while a rubberstamp parliament packed with his henchmen, is defying a court ruling that struck down the transfer in January.

Parliamentary approval is nevertheless expected as the chamber is packed with el-Sissi's sycophants. They say parliament has the right to ratify any international agreement.

The vote in the legislative and constitutional committee — 35 for, 8 against — approved both the content of the agreement and the legality of its referral to parliament for ratification. No date has yet been set for discussing the agreement in a plenary session.

The el-Sisi regime claims the islands of Tiran and Sanafir have always belonged to Saudi Arabia but were placed under Egypt's protection amid Arab-Israeli tensions in the 1950s. However those opposed to the deal linked the transfer to the billions of dollars in Saudi aid given to el-Sissi's government, saying it amounts to a sell-off of sovereign territory.

Meanwhile, Forty-seven percent of Egyptians believe that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian, 11 percent believe they are Saudi Arabian, while 42 percent say they don't know, according to a new poll conducted by the independent Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).

The results reflect an apparent shift in public opinion in the past year, with more people now viewing the islands as sovereign Egyptian territory.

Israeli regime backs the controversial handover of two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi control.

Formers Israeli war minister Moshe Yaalon says the Saudi regime agreed to respect the Israeli-Egyptian deal of 1979, which allows for free shipping in the Red Sea to the port of Eilat.

On Sunday a prominent Egyptian rights lawyer has called President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi a traitor over his government's controversial decision to cede sovereignty of the two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Khaled Ali, 45, who also ran in Egypt's 2012 presidential election, made the comment during a meeting of opposition parties on Sunday to condemn the ongoing review of last year agreement, which handed over the two uninhabited islands Tiran and Sanafir to the oil-rich Persian Gulf Arab kingdom.

"The president is a traitor and the prime minister is a traitor," said Ali in his address before the meeting. "Whoever will be content to lower the Egyptian flag on Tiran and Sanafir and raise the Saudi flag in its place is a traitor," he added.
Story Code: 646105