State Lawsuit Authority appeals court decision annulling Red Sea islands agreement

Tuesday 21-06-2016 09:40 PM

Protest at the Lawyers Syndicate on Apr. 14, 2016 against the transfer of the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia

CAIRO, Jun 21 (Aswat Masriya) - The State Lawsuit Authority appealed on Tuesday against the administrative court decision earlier voiding the maritime border demarcation agreement signed in April between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian cabinet said.

In a statement, the cabinet stressed respect for the Egyptian judiciary.

The agreement was signed at a time when Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz was on his first official visit to Cairo in April. It has stirred controversy since then with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

The accord stipulates that two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, fall within Saudi territorial waters.

Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in rare protests on April 15 and April 25, amid a police campaign of mass arrests of activists opposed to the islands’ transfer.

Located at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, the two islands are strategically significant as they both control maritime activity in the Gulf.

The Tiran Island is located in the Gulf of al-Aqaba, about 5 or 6 km from the Sinai Peninsula, and it has a total area of about 80 square km. Sanafir Island lies to the east of Tiran with a total area of 33 square km.

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