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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Egyptian court rejects president’ decision to hand control of two islands to Saudi Arabia

(4 July 2016)

On Tuesday June 21st, Egypt's State Council, an administrative court, issued a verdict annulling the maritime border agreement between Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

As reported in April’s IBRU news, during King Salman’s state visit to Egypt in April al-Sisi agreed to hand control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia in return for a $16 billion investment fund.

The decision sparked criticism with several protests erupting across Egypt in April and May. Several protesters were jailed and later released while some remain in prison.

The lawsuit was filed by Khalid Ali, a former presidential candidate, and other prominent rights lawyers. Their lawyer Ali Ayoub argued that the agreement contradicts Article 151 of the Constitution, which, according to him, prohibits the signing of agreements that include giving away Egyptian land.

On the same day, the government said that it would appeal the court's verdict. Magdy al-Agaty, Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, said: "The government is studying the reasons for the ruling and will ... challenge it at the higher administrative court of the State Council and request that ... it be cancelled".

Saudi Arabia has remained silent over the decision.