Egypt's top court temporarily halts decisions on Red Sea islands

June 21, 2017 15:00
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CAIRO - Egypt's top court has temporarily halted all verdicts on a contested deal to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia until it decides who has jurisdiction, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Egypt's parliament last week backed plans for the uninhabited islands under an accord that attracted widespread public criticism. But the deal has been caught in a dispute over which institution has the final say after Egypt's highest administrative court rejected it last year.

A separate court suspended the Supreme Administrative Court's verdict. The agreement now sees two courts and parliament in a battle over jurisdiction.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government last year announced a maritime demarcation agreement that cedes control of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, an ally which has given billions of dollars of aid to Egypt.

Supreme Constitutional Court spokesman Ragab Saleem said: "The Constitutional Court, in cases of contradictory judgments, looks at who has jurisdiction.

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