An upcoming tripartite deal with Jordan is one of the facts to emerge from Friday’s disclosure of the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement.
On Friday, MP Mostafa Bakri disclosed the details of the Egyptian-Saudi document that facilitated the sovereign transfer of the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.
The pro-state media figure announced the details of the four-page agreement on his television programme. The first article of the document states that the new maritime border between Egypt and Saudi Arabia will begin Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan’s shared border.
The agreement which was signed in April during the visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to Egypt has prompted strong reactions from the public. Members of the press have dug out historical documents to prove that the islands are Egyptian while the state publicised documents that say the islands are Saudi.
Anger over the agreement prompted nationwide protests that took place on 15 and 25 April. However, they were met with a security crackdown.
The agreement’s text states that it goes into effect according to legal and constitutional procedures in both countries. The Saudi Shura Council and cabinet approved the agreement on 25 April and 2 May, respectively.
Following the approvals, the agreement should be sent to the UN secretary-general to be registered under the charter of the United Nations.
The Egyptian parliament is yet to discuss the agreement in order to vote on it. The agreement was sent to parliament at the beginning of the month, according to sources. However, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal has yet to bring it to a discussion session.
Last week, parliament released a worksheet that included information on the agreement, similar demarcation cases and different opinions and conflicting documents over the agreement.
The document said negotiations over the demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been ongoing for six years. It also acknowledges “the political administration took the decision without readying public opinion,” which was one of the reasons that raised controversy over the agreement in addition to the strategic location of the two Red Sea islands.