Reactions to court ruling voiding transfer of Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

Monday 16-01-2017 01:10 PM

People march in support of ruling voiding Red Sea islands deal on Jan.16, 2017 - Ali Fahim

CAIRO, Jan 16 (Aswat Masriya) - Following Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court ruling that confirmed that two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir fall under Egyptian sovereignty, a number of politicians and activists expressed their reactions of the ruling. 

The court rejected on Monday a government appeal against the invalidation of Tiran and Sanafir ruling, confirming that the two Red Sea islands are Egyptian.

It upheld a previous ruling that annulled the Egyptian-Saudi Arabian maritime border agreement transferring the two islands to Saudi Arabia. 

Following the decision, cheers rang through the court with a number of the attendees singing the Egyptian national anthem in celebration.

Here is a roundup of reactions to the court ruling.

Egypt's former vice-President for Foreign Affairs Mohamed ElBaradei said on his Twitter account that he hopes the ruling would lead to a “correction for the path.” 

“Hoping we understand that nations aren’t built except with justice and rule of law. I hope that today’s ruling would be an awakening that leads to correction and assessment of the path. Sovereignty of the people," Baradei's tweet read. 

Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi expressed his happiness regarding the ruling on his Facebook page. “God is great. Thanks God. Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian,” Sabahi said.

Lawyer Khaled Ali, who was among the team that filed the lawsuit against the agreement, expressed his gratitude to all people who stood up against the deal. 

Political activist Mona Seif, sister of currently imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, congratulated the defense team and youth who protested against the deal.

“Congratulations to the youth who spent weeks and months in jail because of this case. Congratulations to all the lawyers who did the research, came up with the documents and books that proved that Tiran and Sanafir fall under Egyptian sovereignty,” Seif wrote. 

Human rights lawyer and executive director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information Gamal Eid said on his Twitter account that “Egypt is not for sale”. “Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian, with or without a court ruling. Egypt is not for sale,” Eid's tweet read.

Egyptian parliamentarian Mostafa Bakry, who supported the deal, and pushed for the parliament to start the discussion of the agreement refused to comment on the court ruling. “I prefer to wait until I read the full reasoning," Bakry said.

MP and lawyer Bahaa El-Din Abou Shoka also refused to comment on the court ruling.

Meanwhile, MP Samir Ghattas described it as a great day for Egypt, saying that the judiciary "scored a victory for history, Egyptian sovereignty and will".

MP Mohamed Anwar El Sadat praised the "historic ruling" and called on the parliament to halt debating the deal as a final ruling nullified the agreement. Egypt’s cabinet had approved late in December the border demarcation agreement and referred it to the parliament for discussion and ratification.

Sadat added that the government "should respect the judicial decisions and the popular will."

TV host Youssef El-Husseiny expressed his happiness over the court ruling on his Twitter account and praised the youth. 

“Tiran and Sanafir will remain Egyptian and Egyptian youth will continue to be the real defendants of the land, freedom, dignity," Husseiny tweeted.

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