Dozens hold sit-in at Egypt press syndicate over parliamentary committee’s approval of Saudi island deal
Ahram Online, , Tuesday 13 Jun 2017


Dozens of Egyptians held a sit-in on Tuesday at the press syndicate in Cairo shortly after parliament’s legislative and constitutional affairs committee voted in favour of Egypt’s Red Sea island deal with Saudi Arabia.

Security forces have dispersed the sit-in, setting up barricades in front of the syndicate's entrance.

The sit-in was attended by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy, former head of the Journalists Syndicate Yehia Qallash, head of the Dostour Party Khaled Dawood, as well as several members of the Journalists Syndicate board.

The sit-in was also attended by lawyer Khaled Ali, who challenged the deal in court last year.

Earlier on Tuesday, parliament’s legislative and constitutional affairs committee voted in favour of the border demarcation agreement, with 35 out of 43 members voting in favour, in preparation for parliament’s vote on the deal in a plenary session tomorrow or next week.

The border demarcation deal, which places the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi territory, was signed during a visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz to Cairo in April 2016.

The deal has faced a number of legal challenges since it was announced in April 2016, including disputes over which courts have jurisdiction to rule on such international deals.

In January 2017, the High Administrative Court ruled that the deal was null and void. In April, however, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters ruled that administrative courts have no jurisdiction over issues relating to national borders.

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