A Lebanese newspaper quoted Egyptian sources as saying that the Saudi border guards expelled 3 different Egyptian tourist boats, on Tuesday, from the vicinity of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
The sources reported that the Saudi border guards present in the sea and on the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, demanded the Egyptian ships to return to Sharm el-Sheikh, in the absence of the Egyptian border guards. According to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.
Tiran and Sanafir islands
On June 24, 2017, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified the maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia.
In June 2017, the Egyptian government said that its administration of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir “will continue to preserve Egyptian and Saudi national security if the islands are handed over to Saudi Arabia, adding that its citizens will not need a visa to go to the islands.”
And the Egyptian government issued an official report, stating that “the Saudi side understood the necessity of the Egyptian administration remaining to protect the islands and protect the entrance to the Gulf, and acknowledged in the agreement the survival of the Egyptian role, out of its belief in Egypt’s vital role in securing navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba.”
Final ruling confirms the validity of the agreement to redraw the maritime borders
In March 2018, Egypt’s highest court, in a final ruling, confirmed the validity of the agreement to redraw the maritime borders between Cairo and Riyadh, which stipulates Saudi Arabia’s entitlement to the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea.
The ruling issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court (the highest court in the country), came after the corridors of the Egyptian courts witnessed a dispute between the rulings of the administrative and summary courts, over the invalidity or validity of the agreement known in the media as “Tiran and Sanafir”, and signed in Cairo on April 8, 2016.
Two Egyptian courts affiliated with the administrative judiciary rejected the agreement, in June 2016 and January 2017, in exchange for two courts affiliated with the summary judiciary supporting the agreement in 2017.
Read also: Ahmed Al-Qattan reveals how bin Salman persuaded Al-Sisi to give up Tiran and Sanafir?
Subsequently, in June 2017, the State Cases Authority (representing the government) resorted to the Constitutional Court, requesting to consider the dispute between the administrative and urgent courts, and argued that the agreement approved by the Egyptian Parliament earlier is considered an “act of politics” that is not subject to judicial oversight. .
Regarding its ruling, the Supreme Constitutional Court clarified, in a statement, that the signature of the representative of the Egyptian state on the maritime border delimitation agreement between the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly a political act that is subject to parliamentary oversight.
The court also ruled, according to the statement, not to consider any supporting or nullifying rulings issued in this regard, in reference to the rulings of the administrative and urgent courts.
The Constitutional Court clarified that the disregard for the provisions of the administrative and summary courts that nullify and support the agreement comes on the grounds that it is an “act of politics”, and the conclusion and signing of treaties is one of the most prominent examples of these actions.
She indicated that disrespect is due to two aspects. The first is that the agreement relates to a relationship between the executive authority, representing the state, and other persons of public international law, from states and international organizations, in the stages of negotiation, signing and implementation.
The second aspect, according to the statement, is “the signing of the agreement in the field of joint jurisdiction and mutual oversight between the executive and legislative authorities.”
Legal: The agreement is constitutionally valid
For his part, Salah Fawzy, a professor of constitutional law in Egypt and a member of the Legislative Reform Committee, said that the verdict means that the agreement is constitutionally valid and that its referral by the government to Parliament, its parliamentary discussion and sending for presidential ratification, ratification and publication in the Official Gazette are also constitutionally valid.
He explained that the previous rulings issued by the administrative and summary courts, according to the verdict, are now unreliable, stressing that the ruling today is binding on all and all state authorities and has absolute authenticity for them.
Fawzi pointed out that the Constitutional Court is not only competent for judicial oversight of the constitutionality of laws and regulations, but that it, according to the constitution, decides on the dispute that arises regarding the implementation of two contradictory final judgments, one issued by any judicial body or a body with judicial jurisdiction, and the other from another party.
He added that states sometimes act as an administrative authority and at other times as a governing authority.
Fawzi explained that “when it acts as a ruling authority, its actions are not subject to judicial oversight, and it is what is called the actions of sovereignty or political actions, it is the same term, and they are actions related to political relations between countries, such as the conclusion of treaties and the decision related to national security, such as declaring war or emergency,” noting that at the time, no The regular or administrative judiciary may supervise it.
It is noteworthy that, on August 17, 2017, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified the agreement under which Egypt would transfer sovereignty over the islands of “Tiran” and “Sanafir” in the Red Sea to the Kingdom.
The “Tiran and Sanafir” agreement recognizes Saudi Arabia’s entitlement to two islands of the same name located in the Red Sea, which were rejected and criticized by Egyptians.
The Egyptian government responded to these criticisms that “the two islands belong to Saudi Arabia and were subjected to the Egyptian administration in 1967 after a bilateral agreement” between Cairo and Riyadh in order to protect them due to the weakness of the Saudi naval forces at the time, as well as for Egypt to use them in its war against Israel.
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