Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asserted that the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi. “Tiran and Sanafir are recorded as Saudi islands in the Egyptian, Saudi, and international records,” bin Salman said in a television interview broadcast on Tuesday.
The islands of Tiran and Sanafir are located in a strategic location at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, controlling the movement through the gulf.
After a year of tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia due to regional issues, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud met in Riyadh a week ago, and the two of them confirmed the good relations between Cairo and Riyadh.
Asked if there is a problem between Saudi Arabia and Egypt about Tiran and Sanafir, the Saudi Prince denied any problems about the issue of the two islands between Cairo and Riyadh, adding that what had happened is just the demarcation of the borders between the two countries.
“The demarcation of maritime borders will bring economic benefits, two of which are the King Salman Bridge and providing Egypt with energy, gas, and oil,” bin Salman stated.
The Saudi Prince accused Iran and what he called “Ikhwani media” of promoting rumours to harm the Egyptian-Saudi relations, which he described as tough and strong and that cannot be affected. Cairo and Riyadh agree all the time, he added.
“Egypt has never been late to Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia will always provide Egypt in a timely manner,” bin Salman said. He added that the Saudi government didn’t take any negative stance against Egypt.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement of demarcating the maritime borders between them in April 2016. The agreement, which was approved by the Egyptian cabinet in December 2016 and which transfers sovereignty of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, aroused a public controversy, where hundreds of people took the streets of Cairo to protest the agreement.