Egypt’s cabinet announced Saturday in an official statement that Sanafir and Tiran islands are now officially included in the Saudi maritime borders.
The decision concluded after nearly six years of discussions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the statement read. It comes during the first official visit by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz.
In recent years, there have been around 10 rounds discussions that concluded in December 2015, according to the cabinet. The borderlines of the two islands, which are located between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have been a source of controversy for decades.
However, according to the Egyptian cabinet, members of the technical committee concluded that the two islands fall under the Saudi borders.
The islands in question have historically witnessed a back and forth in ownership between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and Israel briefly in 1967. The islands were restored to Egyptian administration in 1982 following the peace accords signed between Egypt and Israel.
The delimitation of maritime borders was first recognised in 2010. Saudi Arabia, in observance of United Nations conventions, declared the delimitation of the baselines for its maritime zones. Egypt responded to the declaration by informing the UN that it would deal with the new Saudi baselines so as not to contravene Egypt’s stance in the bilateral negotiations on the maritime borders.