Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Administrative court annuls Egypt-Saudi islands' deal

Egypt's high administrative court has defended an earlier decision to annul the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, local media and judicial sources said.

The ruling on Tuesday came two months after the court for urgent matters in Cairo had invalidated a verdict by the administrative court that went against the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands.

According to the country's constitution, the high administrative court is the highest judicial entity to settle administrative disputes.

"The ruling (on Tuesday) signifies that the land is Egyptian," said Khaled Ali, a lawyer who argued in the administrative court that the islands belonged to Egypt.

But the latest ruling comes days after the Egyptian parliament voted to ratify a 2016 agreement under which Cairo would transfer the islands to Saudi Arabia.

The parliament said it would disregard any court ruling on the matter and its legislative committee went ahead with the approval of the controversial deal on June 14.

According to local media, Ali Abdul Aal, the parliament's speaker, said: "For the thousandth time, the verdict and nothingness are alike, and we will not allow any authority to assault the parliament".

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