Cairo: Saudi foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir rushed on Sunday to minimise uproar after Egypt’s cabinet on Saturday acknowledged the Tiran straits are part of Saudi territorial waters.
“Egypt did not occupy the two islands, but entered them on a Saudi request. History and documents of both countries have not shown any disagreement on the Saudi identity of both islands. But some are trying to fish in troubled waters.” His comments could be directed at members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood who allege that Egypt had handed over the islands to Saudi Arabia which belonged to Egypt.
The technical drawing of the border include the Tiran and Sanafir islands as part of Saudi Arabia’s territory, the cabinet statement said.
In 1950, Saudi Arabia’s founder King Abdul Aziz Al Saud had requested Egypt to protect those islands which has been the case since then.
Drawing up the maritime border for both countries had been in progress for over six years.
“This enables both countries to benefit from the exclusive economic zone for each, with whatever resources and treasures they contain,” the statement said.
On Sunday, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz addressed Egypt’s parliament, a day after Saudi Arabia agreed to open up a $16bn investment fund for cash-strapped Egypt.
During the address, King Salman said the stability of the entire region largely depended upon strong ties between the two countries. King Salman also renewed support for the creation of a pan-Arab military force proposed by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi more than a year ago.