Court rejects government’s appeal against annulment of Tiran, Sanafir deal

Tuesday 08-11-2016 12:57 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, Nov 8 (Aswat Masriya) – The Administrative Court rejected the government’s appeal against a previous court ruling voiding the Egyptian-Saudi border deal over the Tiran and Sanafir islands, according to lawyer Khaled Ali. 

The court upheld a June ruling that annulled the maritime deal, also fining the government EGP 800, Ali wrote on his Facebook page.

Egypt’s State Lawsuits Authority in August had challenged an administrative court decision voiding the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement.

The agreement, signed during Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz’s first official visit to Cairo in April, stipulates that two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, fall within Saudi territorial waters.

The administrative court annulled the agreement last June and affirmed that the two islands fall within Egypt's borders.

The Egyptian-Saudi agreement stirred controversy with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of "selling Egypt" to Saudi Arabia in return for aid.

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.

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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