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Egypt's parliament approves Red Sea islands transfer to Saudi Arabia

Egypt is ceding control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia   Tiran and Sanafir at the mouth of the Strait of Tiran

Cairo, June 15.─ Egypt's parliament on Wednesday backed plans to hand over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia under an agreement that has attracted widespread public criticism.

House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdelaal said the required majority of lawmakers had voted for the agreement, which the government signed last year, despite a court striking it down in March.

"I announce the House's final approval of the maritime demarcation agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed on April 8, 2016," Abdelaal said before adjourning the session.

The treaty must now be ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which is a formality.

The vote came very swiftly. The House Committee on Defence and National Security unanimously backed the plan earlier on Wednesday and referred it to the House for a final vote.

A majority approved it less than four hours later ...

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