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Egypt approves handover of islands to Saudi Arabia

Egypt's government has just approved a deal that will see it hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The approval was sent to parliament for ratification today, according to state television reports.

Earlier this month, a state advisory body called on a Cairo court to uphold a ruling that would annul an agreement that allows Saudi Arabia to control the two islands.

The agreement was first announced in April this year and caused public uproar and protests in Egypt by those angered that the two uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir could be surrendered to another country.

Two months later, the Higher Administrative Court annulled the agreement justifying the move by stating that Egyptian sovereignty over the islands could not be revoked. The government appealed against the country's decision.

Saudi and Egyptian officials have stated that the islands belong to the Kingdom and were only under Egyptian control because Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdulaziz Al-Saud, asked Egypt to protect them in 1950.

Lawyers have alleged that the accord violates article 151 of Egypt's constitution which requires all treaties related to sovereignty to be approved by a referendum first.

AfricaEgyptMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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