- Middle East/North Africa
The border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, upon which Tiran and Sanafir islands would fall under Saudi control, will not be discussed by the parliament before the judiciary decides on the validity of the agreement, parliamentary informed sources said.
The parliament has decided to postpone the discussion of Tiran and Sanafir agreement until after the final verdict expected January 16th. The Supreme Administrative Court will rule on the appeal presented by the government over the verdict nullifying twice once in June and more recently in November of 2016, the Red Sea islands agreement.
Undersecretary of the House of Representatives, al-Sayed al-Sharif, said that the agreement will be discussed in a democratic atmosphere, and that no MP would be banned from voicing their opinion.
The agreement will be forwarded to the legislative committee for study and discussion. A report will be prepared to be presented later, during the general assembly session, when the parliament starts discussing the agreement, according to Sharif.
He added that the parliament will listen to all points of view, and will scrutinize all documents in cooperation with different state institutions, without haste or a timeframe for the completion of discussions. The parliament will also inform the public opinion on all the deliberations, Sharif added
Sharif stressed that the House of Representatives (parliament) is the body mandated by law to decide on the international conventions in accordance with the Constitution. After the parliament approves an international convention, the Supreme Constitutional Court decides on its constitutionality, Sharif explained.
MP Mostafa Bakry told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Tuesday that he called for broadcasting on air the parliament deliberations over the agreement, adding that he would vote for the agreement as he believes the two islands are Saudi.
He called on state bodies who possess documents relating to the two islands to submit the documents to parliament to help in settling the issue.
On the other hand, lawyer and former presidential hopeful Khaled Ali filed a claim against the president of the republic, the prime minister, the parliament speaker and the ministers of interior and foreign affairs, over putting Egyptian lands (Tiran and Sanafir), at risk.
An informed Saudi source denied that King Salman was planning to visit Cairo soon. A Saudi emir, the source said, not the king, will be visiting Cairo on January 8, pointing out that relations between the two countries are improving and showing positive signs.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm