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Egypt’s top court waives legal challenges to Red Sea islands transfer to Saudi

By Reuters - Mar 03,2018 - Last updated at Mar 03,2018

CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt’s top court on Saturday dismissed all outstanding legal challenges to a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a day before a visit by its crown prince.

The plan to cede the islands to Riyadh, an ally that has given billions of dollars in aid to Egypt, was announced in 2016 and became mired in political protest and legal action.

The Supreme Court ruled that no other court had jurisdiction over the matter, blocking two opposing verdicts — one by the Supreme Administrative Court, which was against ceding control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, the other by the Court of Urgent Matters, which looked to void that decision.

“The signature of the representative of the Egyptian state on the maritime borders agreement between the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly an act of sovereignty,” the Supreme Court said in a statement, adding that approving the deal was down to Egypt’s legislative body.

Prince Mohammed signed the deal on behalf of the Kingdom before becoming crown prince.

Egypt’s parliament backed the deal in June, and Sisi ratified it one week later.

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