ASSESSMENTS

Building Bridges Between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

MIN READApr 15, 2016 | 09:15 GMT

Egypt's return of the Red Sea islands of Tiran (foreground) and Sanafir (background) to Saudi Arabian control has come with a political cost for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

(STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

During Saudi King Salman's first official visit to Cairo recently, he and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced their intent to revive the often-discussed plans to build a bridge that would create a direct link between their countries. While the bridge plans are somewhat nebulous, the two leaders also signed off on a more concrete accord, an agreement that redraws the maritime boundary between the two nations to return control over two strategic islands situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. If the bridge is ever built, it could prove a mixed blessing for both states; the island transfer, on the other hand, has created political outrage in Egypt....

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