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May 29, 2022 9:37 am

Israel Considers Saudi Request to Change Status of Two Red Sea Islands

avatar by i24 News

Tourists enjoy a day by the beach during their summer vacation at a Red Sea resort, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hurghada, Egypt August 25, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

i24 News – Israel is examining Saudi Arabia’s request to change the international status of Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Red Sea, according to Haaretz.

The islands were under Saudi jurisdiction until 1950, when Riyadh transferred them to Egypt. Israel captured the islands twice but returned them to Egypt in 1982 along with other territories of the Sinai Peninsula.

In 2016 Egypt announced that it would transfer the two islands to Saudi Arabia. In 2017 the deal was approved by the Egyptian parliament and Supreme Court, but any decision on the islands required Israel’s consent, due to the terms of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

If the deal is approved it will become the first public agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The talks are being negotiated by the White House as US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Saudi Arabia in June. Biden’s upcoming Middle East trip might also include his first visit to Israel.

While Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have open diplomatic relations they have been talking behind closed doors for years on diplomatic and security issues.

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