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Egypt's High Administrative Court sets 8 Oct for appeal in Red Sea islands case

Ahram Online , Saturday 1 Oct 2016
A picture taken on January 14, 2014 through the window of an airplane shows the Red Sea's Tiran (foreground) and the Sanafir (background) islands in the Straits of Tiran between Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Saudi Arabia. (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's High Administrative Court will hold next Saturday the first session to hear the government's appeal against a court ruling which voided Cairo's decision to acknowledge Saudi sovereignty over two Red Sea islands.

In June a lower administrative court ruled that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are under Egyptian sovereignty.

Egypt's government had agreed in April to return the two islands off the coast of southern Sinai to Saudi Arabia, saying they had always belonged to the Gulf country.

On Thursday, a court for urgent matters issued a ruling suspending the lower administrative court decision. Lawyers in that case said they intend to appeal the urgent matters court decision.

The decision to recognise the two strategic islands at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba as belonging to Saudi Arabia sparked widespread public outcry; dozens of people were arrested and put on trial for protesting the deal, though many have since been released after paying hefty fines.

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