Egypt stands firm on is­lands move

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Egypt has de­fended its de­ci­sion to hand over two Red Sea is­lands to Saudi Ara­bia at an ap­peals court hear­ing af­ter the move was struck down by a lower court last week. The trans­fer of the is­lands, an­nounced dur­ing an April visit by King Salman along­side bil­lions of dol­lars in Saudi aid, set off the big­gest street protests since Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah El Sissi was elected two years ago. Crit­ics of the mar­itime bor­der agree­ment ac­cuse the gov­ern­ment of sell­ing off sov­er­eign ter­ri­tory. The gov­ern­ment in­sists the is­lands of Ti­ran and Sanafir al­ways be­longed to Saudi Ara­bia but were placed un­der Egyp­tian pro­tec­tion in 1950. “Suc­ces­sive Egyp­tian gov­ern­ments have ac­knowl­edged Saudi own­er­ship but post­poned hand­ing them over un­til con­di­tions in the re­gion sta­bilised,” said the chief gov­ern­ment lawyer, Rafiq Omar.

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