Egypt parliament committee passes KSA islands deal

Dhaka,  Fri,  23 June 2017
Published : 14 Jun 2017, 22:02:18
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Egypt parliament committee passes KSA islands deal

Yemen's Houthi rebels fire missile at Saudi-led warship in Red Sea
Egypt parliament committee passes KSA islands deal
CAIRO, June 14 (Agencies): A controversial agreement for Cairo to hand over two Red Sea islands to kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) passed an Egyptian parliamentary committee Tuesday, setting the stage for a vote in the house.

Parliament's legislative committee agreed the treaty after heated debate, with opponents even interrupting one session with chanting.

The agreement passed with 35 lawmakers for and eight against, member of parliament Mostafa Bakry told the news agency.

Parliament's defence committee will also examine the accord before it goes to a general vote.

Courts had struck down the agreement, signed in April 2016, but a year later another court upheld it.

The accord had sparked rare protests in Egypt, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi accused of having

bartered the islands of Tiran and Sanafir for Saudi largesse.

The government has said the islands were Saudi to begin with, but were leased to Egypt in the 1950s.

Opponents of the agreement insist that Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian.

In the evening dozens of journalists protested against the agreement in central Cairo, before being dispersed by police, journalists' union official Gamal Abdel Rehim said.

Meanwhile,  Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi rebels said they fired a missile at a Saudi-led coalition warship off Mokha coast in the Red Sea on Wednesday, the rebels media reported.

"The navy of the army and popular forces on Wednesday targeted a warship belonging to a Saudi-led coalition while it was carrying out hostile acts off Mokha coast of Taiz province," the rebels-controlled state Saba news agency quoted a Houthi military official as saying.

Meanwhile, the Houthi-run Al Massira TV channel said "the navy forces of the national army fired a missile targeting the enemy coalition warship at the Red Sea early morning of Wednesday."

The channel said the missile hit the target accurately. Both Houthi media gave no further details.

This is the latest in a series of attacks carried out by Houthis against the coalition in the Red Sea.

On January 30, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported that Houthi militants attacked a warship with three suicide bombing boats off Yemeni Hodeidah port city, causing an explosion that killed two crew members and injured three others.

In October last year, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer was targeted in the Red Sea in a failed missile attack from Yemen.

In response, former US President Barack Obama's administration launched cruise missile strikes on Houthi-controlled coastal radar sites in Yemen.
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