Egypt to hand over islands to Saudi Arabia

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Egypt’s government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and sent it to parliament for ratification, despite a legal dispute over the plan, according to state television.
The deal, announced in April, caused public uproar and protests by Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country.
The controversy has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided Egypt with billions of dollars of aid but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations.
In June, Egypt’s higher administrative court annulled the agreement, saying Egyptian sovereignty over the islands could not be given up. The Egyptian government lodged an appeal.
Earlier this month, an Egyptian state advisory body recommended the court uphold its original decision, in a report seen by Reuters. The court is scheduled to issue its final verdict on 16 January and is not obliged to follow the advisory body’s report.Read the whole story at the Guardian.

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