Court to resume Red Sea islands case on August 13

Egyptian lawyers ceded, on Saturday, a request to replace the judges presiding over a government appeal against a former verdict that nullified a border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia made in April.

In June, the State Council's Administrative Court nullified the border agreement, which claimed that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir — long believed to be Egyptian — in fact fell in Saudi waters and were to be officially handed back to the kingdom. The government immediately appealed the decision.

The Supreme Administrative Court dealt with the appeal the same month, but one of the lawyers challenging the government demanded the recusal of the judges presiding over the case, and the session was adjourned. 

The lawyer Adel Soliman ceded the request today and the court adjourned the session to August 13.

When the Egyptian-Saudi agreement to hand over the two islands to Saudi Arabia was signed on April, 8, the Cabinet said it would need to be reviewed by parliament before being ratified.

However, on April 10, lawyer and former presidential hopeful Khaled Ali filed a lawsuit claiming that the two islands are sovereign Egyptian territory and the Egyptian government had no right to give them to another nation. It was argued that where borders are concerned, the constitution dictates that a national referendum is required before any agreements can be finalized.

Ali filed his case with the State Council, the branch of Egypt's judiciary that deals with administrative disputes relating to the exercise of state power.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm 

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