Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has been criticised at home and abroad for agreeing to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia that have been controlled directly from Cairo for more than 60 years.

The deal on Tiran and Sanafir paves the way for the construction of a bridgelinking Saudi Arabia to Sharm el-Sheikh, at the tip of the Sinai peninsula. It was announced at the weekend during a visit by King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

The agreement, which the government said had been negotiated over six years, immediately became embroiled in the polarised politics of Egypt and the geopolitical rivalries of a bitterly divided Middle East.

Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram described “a huge wave of controversy and confusion” as five people who protested against the decision were arrested at the weekend before being released on Monday. The agreement is subject to a vote in parliament, but critics insisted that a referendum should be held.

Read More- The Guardian

Image courtesy of AP