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Saudi FM: Red Sea islands have returned to the kingdom

Saudi FM Jubeir said that it was the right of every country to demarcate its borders. (File photo: AP)

That two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir, previously occupied by Israel from Egypt, are now Saudi territories, said Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday.

During an interview with Egyptian channel CBC, Jubeir said that the two tiny yet strategic islands, which lie between the tip of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and Saudi’s western coast, had been under the control of Egypt and that they have now been returned to Saudi.

Saudi not having a formable navy gave control of these islands to Egypt to prevent Israeli ships being able to get to Eilat city during the Six-Day War in 1967. But after ceasefire, Egypt continued to be in control of these islands.

Jubeir said that it was the right of every country to demarcate its borders, adding that Egypt demarcated its borders with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia also seeks to define its borders with its neighbors.

According to Jubeir, the decision to demarcate borders with Egypt was made in a manner that pleases both parties. He said this has been a Saudi demand for years and an agreement on the matter has finally been reached.

The top diplomat noted that Saudi Arabia demarcated its borders with Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates over the last few decades.

He added that there has been communication with Egypt regarding demarcating the borders since the days of Egypt’s King Farouk and Saudi King Abdulaziz. Farouk was overthrown in 1950s and the Saudi King passed away in the same decade.

King Salman’s bridge

Commenting on a recently-announced bridge which will be built between Saudi Arabia and Egypt over the Red Sea, Jubeir said the bridge marks a historical step as it links Asia to Africa and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, adding that it will yield significant economic, social and political results.

He noted that building the bridge has nothing to do with demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries.

Jubeir described the Saudi king’s visit to Egypt as historic and said the agreements signed during this visit confirm the solid bilateral relations and show that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have similar points of view regarding confronting threats to the Arab world.

The foreign minister also said that Saudi Arabia is willing to mediate between Egypt and Qatar if it is asked to, adding that there is communication between Egypt and Qatar and attempts to bring points of view closer and thus overcome disputes

 

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Last Update: Monday, 11 April 2016 KSA 16:45 - GMT 13:45
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Saudi FM: Red Sea islands have returned to the kingdom
Saudi not having a formable navy gave control of these islands to Egypt to prevent Israeli ships being able to get to Eilat city during the Six-Day War in 1967
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