New case demanding referendum on fate of Red Sea islands

The States Council's Administrative Court received a new case on Sunday demanding a referendum on the maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, signed in April, would have transferred the two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi waters, but the Supreme Administrative Court nullified the deal earlier this month.
According to the border demarcation agreement, the two islands were deemed to be within Saudi territorial waters, in recognition of historical claims on the part of Saudi Arabia.
In late December, Egypt's government approved the agreement and sent it to Parliament for ratification, despite a legal dispute over the plan.
However, the Supreme Court ruling is final; the Parliament has announced that it would proceed with discussing the agreement.
The new lawsuit demanded that the agreement should not be ratified unless voters approve the agreement in a referendum.
Lawyer Gamal Salah, who filed the case, said the Parliament should not discuss the agreement, adding that the government must adhere to the court ruling.
Saudis and Egyptians are at loggerheads over the agreement. Egyptians have been protesting since April demanding that the agreement be revoked.
Following the court ruling this month, Saudis said they would take the case to the International Court of Justice to retrieve the two islands.

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