Saudi Arabian ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Abdelaziz Qattan denied circulated news on Sunday about Saudi King Salman Bin Abdelaziz’s planned visit to raise the Saudi flag on Tiran and Sanafir islands, according to state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.
The news, which was published in late June, speculated that the king would head to the western Saudi city Tabouk for a 12-day visit, during which he would raise flags on the two islands, and inaugurate the construction of the Salman bridge with the presence of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The Salman bridge is set to link Egypt and Saudi Arabia over the Red Sea.
President Al-Sisi ratified the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement, which transfers the sovereignty of the two Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, after Egypt’s parliament approved it.
In April 2016, Al-Sisi and King Abdelaziz Al-Saud attended the signing ceremony of several cooperation agreements in various fields, while Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, and then-Saudi deputy crown prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdelaziz signed the agreement on maritime border demarcation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The agreement stirred controversy in the Egyptian political scene amid dozens of protests, as tension grew between members of parliament on whether or not to proceed discussions of the agreement after a court decision was announced to annul it.