MPs demand parliamentary review of Sanafir and Tiran sovereignty transfer

Abdel Razek Al-Shuwekhi
3 Min Read
Tiran island Public domain

Members of parliament have demanded that the government present the agreements regarding the demarcation of the maritime border with Saudi Arabia to the parliament to study the status of Tiran and Sanafir islands.

MP Haitham El-Hariri requested that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail provide all official historical and geographical documentation to the parliament for examination, to determine the status and sovereignty of the two islands.

According to El-Hariri, the government has placed the Egyptian people in a difficult position by announcing the signing of the agreement of the maritime border demarcation without providing any documentation regarding the convention.

MP Mohamed Badawi Desouky said the demarcation of the border between the two countries is a “dead letter” unless it is presented to parliament, and approved in accordance with Article 151 of the Constitution.

“These islands are Egyptian and no one is entitled to give up Egypt’s sovereignty of these islands,” Desouky added, noting that a referendum on this matter would not be legitimate either.

Article 151 of the 2014 Constitution states: “The president of the republic shall conclude international treaties and forward them to the People’s Assembly with the necessary explanations. The treaties shall have the force of law after their conclusion, ratification and publication in accordance with the established procedure.

“However, peace treaties, alliance pacts, commercial and maritime and all the treaties involving modifications in the national territory or affecting the rights of sovereignty, or imposing charges on the state treasury, which are not provided for in the budget, must be approved by the People’s Assembly.”

The Free Egyptians Party declined to comment on the issue of the islands until the government provides a number of documents regarding the Demarcation Commission report to the parliament, according to the party’s official spokesperson Shehab Wagih.

The Future of a Nation Party said the parliament’s approval or rejection is the decisive factor in the outcome of this agreement. The government must present all of the documents of the convention, according to party spokesperson Ahmed Sami.

The Egyptian Social Democratic party said in a statement that the government should not remain faithful to this agreement as giving up the islands of Tiran and Sanafir is a path that can only lead to humiliation and hurting national sentiments.

The party demands that MPs reject this agreement, asserting that Egyptians are the only people who should decide, by referendum, whether to accept or reject the agreement.

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