A group of Egyptian lawyers on Sunday filed a lawsuit against President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and five top officials over a controversial agreement to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
The move came days after the government approved the agreement to transfer the sovereignty of the Tiran and Sanafir islands – which have been under Egypt’s control for more than six decades – to Saudi Arabia and sent it to parliament for approval.
“The lawsuit calls for annulling the government decision to approve the demarcation deal and send it to parliament,” Khalid Ali, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement.
He said the suit targets the president, the prime minister, the parliament speaker and the ministers of defense, foreign affairs and interior.
According to Anadolu Agency reporter, the lawsuit calls for keeping the two islands under Egypt’s sovereignty and banning their transfer to any other country.
The agreement, which was signed in April, has triggered public outcry in Egypt amid accusations for al-Sisi of selling Egyptian territory to the oil-rich kingdom, which has channeled billions of dollars to shore up Egypt’s economy since 2013.
The government has defended the move, arguing that Egypt had taken control of the two islands in 1950 amid concerns that Israel might seize them.
Since then, Egyptian lawyers have filed lawsuits in the hope of annulling the agreement, which must be approved by parliament in order to be valid.—Agencies