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Why Egyptians' anger at island handover is misplaced

Angry Egyptians decried the return of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia while ignoring possible economic benefits and returns for Egypt as part of the agreement.
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Angry protesters filled the streets of Cairo April 15, outraged over the maritime border demarcation agreement signed by the Egyptian and Saudi governments during a five-day visit by King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud that began April 7. It was Salman’s first visit to Egypt since taking office in January 2015.

Under the new agreement, Egypt formally recognized the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir, at the southern entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba, as belonging to Saudi Arabia. In 1950 during the reign of King Farouk, custody of the islands had been transferred to Egypt at the request of Saudi King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud because Saudi Arabia lacked a naval force to protect the islands against possible Israeli expansion following the 1948 war in Palestine, in which Israel defeated Arab armies.

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