Skip to main content

Egypt's legislature thumbs nose at court, approves islands deal

Egypt’s parliament shoved through approval of a deal to transfer Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, but experts say the move violates the constitution and is likely to fuel public resentment.
Protesters shout slogans and hold a banner that reads in Arabic 'two Red Sea islands are Egyptian', against a deal that sees Egypt cede sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia currently being debated in parliament in downtown Cairo, Egypt June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTS16WQH
Read in 

CAIRO — Egypt's parliament quickly gave its blessing to a controversial maritime demarcation agreement under which Egypt is to transfer sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. But some parliamentarians, legal experts and citizens are saying, “Not so fast.”

One legislator resigned from parliament in protest, and a political science expert predicts that consummating the turnover would cause the political system to buckle. Police arrested eight people, including three journalists, from among dozens of people at a demonstration the night before the vote.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.