Egypt annuls scheduled ceding of islands to Saudi Arabia

Cairo, Jan 16 (IANS) Egypts High Administrative Court on Monday rejected a government appeal against a previous court ruling voiding the Egypt-Saudi Arabia Red Sea islands deal.

The verdict is final and can not be appealed, Al Ahram daily reported.

The Supreme Administrative Court’s decision, which is definitive, upheld a lower court initiative taken in November.

In April 2016, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the deal to transfer the Egyptian islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, Efe news reported.

The two islands are located in the Red Sea a few kilometres from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula to the west and Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk region to the east.

Cairo said Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, had requested that Egypt protect the islands.

However, this request was made before Saudi Arabia had developed a navy.