Egypt to keep islands
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has rejected a government plan to transfer two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The final ruling was met with cheers in the court but could deepen tensions with the country’s erstwhile financial backer.
Egypt’s government announced during a visit by the Saudi king in April a maritime demarcation accord that would see it cede control of Tiran and Sanafir.
The deal prompted protests from Egyptians who said the islands belonged to them.
It has become a source of tension between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which showered its ally with tens of billions of dollars in aid in recent years but suspended petroleum supplies in September amid growing differences. The court based its ruling on “irrefutable evidence” plus local and international practices, removing doubt that the islands belonged to Egypt alone. – Reuters