Egypt cedes two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

The Saudi King Salman’s five-day visit to Cairo was marked by an agreement on the maritime borders between the two nations and Egypt’s handover of the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the oil kingdom. The uninhabited islands are of strategic importance because they lie on an important sea route to the Israeli port of Eilat and the Jordanian port of Aqaba.
Sunday Salman delivered a 6-minute address to the Egyptian parliament after pledging massive financial assistance and investments to bolster the Egyptian economy as well as funding for Cairo’s war on ISIS in Sinai. The king announced that the two governments had agreed to build a bridge linking the two nations across the Red Sea – a longstanding project that never left the planning stage – and work together to create a pan-Arab defense force.

DEBKAfile: The causeway along with the two islands is envisaged as a link in a land bridge that will pipe Saudi oil across the sea to Egyptian Mediterranean ports,  as an alternative to shipping oil exports by tanker through the Suez Canal.

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