Tiran Island - Photo by Egypt Today's Nourhan Magdi
CAIRO - 2 April 2017: Egypt’s Court of Urgent Matters obliged the government on Sunday to carry out a controversial deal per which Egypt will hand over sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, Youm7
The court decision has overturned the Administrative Judiciary Court’s January verdict which annulled the deal.
In April, Egypt announced that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi territories while Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz was visiting Cairo; both sides reached an agreement, per which Egypt relinquished control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba.
The deal angered the Egyptian public and ignited criticism against the government, and thousands of people protested against the decision.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry released documents showing that the two islands belong to Saudi Arabia, while Facebook users circulated a map from the Library of Alexandria showing the islands included as territory of the Sinai Peninsula dating back to era of Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879. They also circulated
footage of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser saying the lands were located in Egypt’s territorial waters.
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