Egyptian court rejects plan to transfer Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

Cairo court ruling confirming Egyptian sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands comes amid rising tensions with neighbour. 

An Egyptian court has issued a final ruling rejecting a controversial government plan to transfer two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, prompting cheers in the Cairo courtroom but potentially deepening tensions with the country’s erstwhile financial backer..

Celebrations erupted as the judge gave the verdict confirming Egyptian sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir, saying the government had failed to provide evidence that the islands were Saudi.

The deal to transfer the islands, announced in April, caused public uproar and protests by Egyptians, who believe Tiran and Sanafir belong to their country. It also fed into discontent over the country’s economic crisis.

Ali Ayoub, who helped bring the original case against the government, responded with jubilation to Monday’s ruling. “The ruling is final and cannot be subject to appeal, [even] the parliament doesn’t have the right to discuss this agreement, because it’s been made null and void by a court ruling” he said, surrounded by supporters chanting: “Egyptian, Egyptian, Egyptian.”

Tiran and Sanafir are situated in the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba leading to Jordan and Israel. Saudi and Egyptian officials say they belong to Saudi Arabia and have been under Egyptian control only because Riyadh asked Cairo in 1950 to protect them.

read more at : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/16/egyptian-court-rejects-transfer-red-sea-islands-saudi-arabia-tiran-sanafir


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