Egypt-KSA islands agreement aims at securing israeli passage
Press TV has conducted an interview with Ali Al Ahmed, director of IGA from Washington, to discuss the new revelations coming out of a recent Egyptian-Saudi deal on the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Are you at all surprised in this revelation of collaboration and even getting consent from Tel Aviv for a matter that could have just been between Egypt and Saudi Arabia?
Al Ahmed: I am not surprised given the fact that number one that Israel is directly impacted negatively or positively by any changes regarding the status of Tiran and Sanafir. Here when Tiran was ceded to Saudi control or Saudi sovereignty, Israel is benefiting because now … between the island in Sinai Peninsula and Tiran island become international matter given Israel a complete access to the Red Sea previously that was not the case and the Israeli ships had to go through Egyptian waters which required statement and coordination and permission and so on.
Right now that is not going to be the case. Jordan is also another benefactor of this deal. Basically here everyone is winning. Sisi gets money and funding from the Saudi monarchy and also he gets the blessing of Israel for this move. The Saudi monarchy gets also support from Israel for accepting to carry on this move and of course it gains popularity amongst certain elements in the population for returning or gaining the sovereignty over these important islands.
So, you are looking at really everybody here is winning. It is a brilliant Saudi and Egyptian move in terms of political maneuvering. I don’t know how useful it would be chronically for the Saudis but definitely politically now they have gained the Israeli support. Sisi has gotten the Israeli support. I predict that in rewarding him [Sisi] the Obama administration will invite him to Washington in the next few months to reward him for this move.
Press TV: So, Mr. Al Ahmed basically trying to simplify this, this deal gives Israel strategic and political advantage in the region at the cost of keeping these monarchs and these dictators happy in their respective countries in the Persian Gulf.
Al Ahmed: Yes absolutely. I think Israel now is much more keen in supporting these governments, the Sisi and the Saudi government because they have given Israel great economic advantage and political and military [advantage]. It is very important to say that the military movement of Israeli ships in the Red Sea now will be much more easy and that allows the Israeli boats and ships and airplanes to go and to access the Red Sea without much problem or coordination. They can go through that airspace without requiring permission or payment.
Press TV: Let’s not forget Saudi regime claims to be the custodian of the two holy sites, representative of Islam in many ways, it continues to claim that it is spokesperson for the Islamic world, however, this raises the question, its collaboration and growing relations with Israel raises a question of whether that is in fact true.
Al Ahmed: It is true. Let us remember historically the Saudi government, the monarchy has no problem with the establishment of the state of Israel. If you go back to the British archive you see that very clearly in the communications between the founder of Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz and his communication with the Jewish agency at the time and regarding moving Jews from Europe to Palestine and the fact that the British in their aim to establish the state of Israel established the Saudi monarchy and the Jordanian monarchy as a stepping sound to Israel. The first step was the Saudi and Jordanian monarchies and then Israel. So, without that, Israel would have been impossible, without these monarchies’ existence.