CAIRO:- Egypt's plan to hand over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia under an agreement that has attracted widespread criticism moved closer to fruition with parliament set to vote on the measure on Wednesday. A key parliamentary committee unanimously backed the plan and referred it to parliament for a final vote before it can be ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, its chairman told journalists. Sisi's government last year announced a maritime demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia, which has given billions of dollars of aid to Egypt, ceding control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Gulf kingdom. –Reuters

"We have unanimously approved the maritime demarcation accord with Saudi Arabia and it will be voted on in the general session today," said House of Representatives Committee on Defense and National Security Chairman Kamal Amer.