During his five-day visit to Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has been bestowed the two small but strategic islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea as ‘a gift’ from the Egyptian government.
The country’s cabinet announced in Saturday that it has agreed to transfer the sovereignty of the two uninhabited islands to the oil-rich Kingdome, claiming they are simply being returned to its legitimate owner.
The controversial announcement triggered a nationwide protests where at least five people have been arrested in Tahrir Square, the hotbed of 2011 uprising that ousted the former president Housni Mubarak.
Slaman’s visit also yielded an agreement to build a bridge linking the two countries as part of the $16 billion of investments the royal king has vowed to make in Egypt.
Saudi Arabia has been the main backer of incumbent president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi when he led a coup that removed the Islamist Mohammed Morsi from power in July, 2013.