File photo: The islands of Tiran (forefront) and Sanafir (further back) (Photo: AFP)
An Egyptian administrative court has set a date of 6 June to rule on a legal jurisdiction dispute in relation to a controversial Egyptian-Saudi Arabian maritime border demarcation agreement.
Egyptian rights lawyer Khaled Ali asked the court to rule that the Court for Urgent Matters, which ruled earlier this month to revoke the High Administrative Court's January decision to uphold Egypt's sovereignty over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir, has no jurisdiction over the matter.
The deal, inked in April 2016, would transfer sovereignty of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, located strategically at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, to Saudi Arabia. The agreement sparked widespread public outcry in Egypt, including several protests, and has been the subject of a lengthy court battle between the government and those opposed to the deal.
In December, the Egyptian cabinet approved the deal and sent it to the parliament for a vote, despite the ongoing court battles over its validity.
Last week, parliament referred the agreement to its legislative committee for review.