Why is Egypt transferring the control of two islands to Saudi Arabia? (See here.)

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    Money seems to be the most obvious reason. It is not the first time land was sold (see Alaska or Louisiana for instance). Also, saudi arabia is viewed favorably by many islamists in Egypt. I am not sure the same deal would have been made with Israël, India, China, US ... Even more contestation could have appeared. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


In short: Bribery + Israel.

1- Egyptian financial Dependency on Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg reports:

Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with more than $3 billion in loans and grants to help its dollar-starved economy.

2- note that Saudi Arabia has a friendly relationship with Israel (below the radar). Of course Saudi Arabia doesn't reveal this friendliness because of the nation's reaction. As the Washington Post says, the decision by the Egyptian government was being supported by Israel. Moshe Yaalon tells Israeli reporters that he had received official documentation that Saudi Arabia would continue to allow Israelis freedom of passage in the area.

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    Is there any evidence of Israel taking actions in order to facilitate this deal? Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 12:37
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    evidence? maybe no; it is politics. but implication? yes: washingtonpost
    – user 1
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 18:01
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    -1 There's a big difference between Israel approving of the deal after the fact and organizing it. The latter is very unlikely.
    – Colin
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 8:44

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