Saudi–Egypt Causeway

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Strait of Tiran, site of the proposed project.

The Saudi–Egypt Causeway is a proposal to link Egypt and Saudi Arabia with a causeway and bridge.[1] The entire project is expected to cost about 4 billion US dollars. The causeway would link Tabuk to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula and would pass through Tiran Island at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba. Funding for the causeway was announced from the Saudi Binladin Group group, which will work the Egyptian government-run firm Arab Contractors.[2]

The proposed construction projects aim to create closer links between the two nations and have the potential to create plenty of jobs on both sides. This is part of a greater plan by the Egyptian government that intends to repopulate the Sinai peninsula.[3] It will also provide an alternative Hajj route, and is expected to serve a million passengers and pilgrims annually.[3]

Concerns have been raised about environment effects, and by neighbors regarding security. The extra traffic and additional development could cause a further decline of the threatened Red Sea dugong population and damage to coral reefs and fisheries.[3] One such organization, Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) is fine with the bridge project moving forward, as long as an environmental survey is performed and the reefs are not harmed by the construction. Israel has insinuated that the causeway could be a cause of war, as the government views it as a strategic transport threat for Israeli traffic to and from the Port of Eilat. Article V of the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt provides for the right of freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran.[4]

The project was suspended in 2005 by the Hosni Mubarak government, due to security concerns voiced by Israel.[5] Prior to its loss of power, the Mohamed Morsi administration was reported to be interested in finalizing plans for the project in 2012 and 2013.[1][2]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Conrad Egbert (2008-03-01). "Tenders for $4bn Saudi-Egypt causeway this year". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  2. ^ Ahram Online (21 January 2013). "Saudi Binladin Group ready to fund proposed Egypt-Saudi bridge". Ahram Online. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Kira Walker (2 March 2013). "Egypt-Saudi bridge: Is the government sacrificing natural resources for short-term gains?". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Middle East Monitor (11 January 2011). "Israel hints at war with Egypt over bridge to Saudi Arabia". Middle East Monitor. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Volkhard Windfuhr (18 July 2011). "Crossing the Red Sea: Egypt Approves Massive Bridge to Saudi Arabia". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

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