Egypt cabinet defies courts, approves handover of Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

Published December 30th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court is expected to make a final ruling on the matter on January 16, 2017. (File photo)
Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court is expected to make a final ruling on the matter on January 16, 2017. (File photo)

Egypt’s cabinet approved on Thursday the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement and referred it to the parliament for ratification.

The agreement stipulates that the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir fall within Saudi territorial waters.  

The administrative court had annulled the agreement in June and affirmed that the two islands fall within Egypt's borders. The State Lawsuits Authority, representing the government, challenged verdict later. 

The Supreme Administrative Court is set to rule on Jan 16 on the government's appeal against the annulment of the agreement. 

The agreement, signed during Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz’s first official visit to Cairo in April, stirred controversy, with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.


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