Defending the Agreement, Egypt’s Chief Government Lawyer Refers to “Egypt’s Occupation” of Tiran and Sanafir

Egypt’s  government defended its decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia at an appeals court hearing after Egypt’s Administrative court nullified the agreement.

The chief government lawyer, Rafiq Omar said, “Successive Egyptian governments have acknowledged Saudi ownership (of the islands) but postponed handing them over until conditions in the region stabilized.”

He said the final word on the agreement rests with Egypt’s parliament which is full of al-Sisi supporters.

“This case lies outside the jurisdiction of the court, but I still submit to you secret documents” proving Saudi ownership,he said during the hearing.

The chief government lawyer also referred to “Egypt’s occupation” of the islands during its war with Israel for its strategic interests based on an agreement with Saudi Arabia.

His remarks were interrupted at one point by a man who shouted “Is he a Saudi lawyer?”

A small protest gathered inside Egypt’s State Council, where lawyers and activists are awaiting the court’s decision in the Red Sea islands case.

The protesters inside the State Council chanted slogans such as “Awaad sold his land,” a reference to an Egyptian song about a farmer who sold his own land, and “Bread, freedom, these islands are Egyptian,” which is one of the most popular chants on January 25, 2011 revolution.

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court hearing a government appeal on a Saudi-Egyptian border demarcation case adjourned the session until 3 July.

Al-Ahram reported that,”Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court hearing Sunday a government appeal on a Saudi-Egyptian border demarcation case postponed the session until 3 July to study a recusal request presented by lawyers opposed to the deal.”

It added that lawyers who argued against the agreement with Saudi Arabia requested the panel of the High Administrative Court hearing the government’s appeal to void the deal recuse itself. In response, the judges adjourned Sunday’s session to prepare a response to the lawyers’ request.

Last week, Egypt Administrative Court ruled the invalidity of the controversial demarcation agreement that stipulates the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.

The Egyptian government appealed against the administrative court’s nullification of the al-Sisi plan to cede control of the two Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia.