Inside Story

Sanafir and Tiran: Are they Egyptian or Saudi Arabia’s?

The future of the two Red Sea islands is causing more controversy in Egypt.

The ownership of the small islands of Sanafir and Tiran is a highly contentious issue in Egypt. Are they owned by Egypt or Saudi Arabia?

Located between both countries at the top of the Red Sea, they are considered to be strategically important because of their proximity to ports in Jordan and Israel.

After months of debates and protests in Cairo, the territorial dispute is back in the parliamentary spotlight.

A committee of Egyptian MPs has approved an agreement to hand over control of the islands to Saudi Arabia, although the High Administrative Court in January declared the plan unconstitutional.

What’s the real story behind the sell-off?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Yehya Ghanem – Al Jazeera’s Middle East analyst

Timothy Kaldas – TIMEP policy institute focusing on analysis in the Middle East