An Egyptian court has held its first hearing on a government appeal against a lower court ruling in June that rescinded an agreement to hand over control of two key Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday heard prominent rights lawyer Khaled Ali argue that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to Egypt. Ali submitted evidence, including Egyptian atlases dating back to the early 20th century.
Egypt’s government, which announced the agreement in April, argues that Saudi Arabia had only temporarily handed over control of the Islands to Egypt in 1950, fearing they would be attacked by Israel.
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The announcement sparked the largest anti-government protests in Egypt since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi took office in June 2014.