Egypt panel defies parliament on Red Sea islands transfer

Panel’s report is meant as a guideline for the Supreme Constitutional Court, which is due to start hearings July 30

Image Credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
An aerial view of the coast of the Red Sea and the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir is pictured through the window of an airplane near Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt November 1, 2016. Picture taken November 1, 2016.
Gulf News

Cairo: A senior constitutional panel in Egypt has concluded that two courts, which ruled to annul an agreement to transfer control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, had acted within their jurisdiction.

The panel’s report — published on Thursday in Egyptian media — defies Egypt’s parliament, which the previous day overwhelmingly backed the 2016 deal on the islands transfer.

The legislature is packed by supporters of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi whose government insists the islands belong to Saudi Arabia.

The panel’s report is meant as a guideline for the Supreme Constitutional Court, which is due to start hearings July 30 on whether the courts had acted within their jurisdiction.

The panel’s findings are not binding, but are rarely ignored.

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