Egypt's Constitutional Court Upholds Saudi Arabia's Sovereignty Over Red Sea Islands

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. – AFP

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the Egyptian capital on Sunday at the start of his first foreign tour as heir to the throne.

Riyadh counts Cairo among its Arab allies.

His visit comes a day after Egypt's top court upheld a deal to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The Supreme Court ruled that no other court had jurisdiction over the matter, blocking two opposing verdicts - one by the Supreme Administrative Court, which was against ceding control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, the other by the Court of Urgent Matters, which looked to void that decision.

Prince Mohamed signed the deal on behalf of the Kingdom before becoming crown prince.

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"President Sisi expressed Egypt's keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia in all fields, in a way that reflects the level of strategic partnership between the two countries", Egypt's presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement. On the other hand, 42 percent said they don't know.

Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said Saudi Aramco agreed to supply Egyptian refineries with 500,000 barrels of crude oil per month for six months starting in January 2018.

In April 2017, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz conferred with the Coptic pope at a Cairo hotel where the Saudi monarch was staying during an official visit to Egypt.

Cairo and Riyadh have maintained close ties, although Egypt has signalled a lack of enthusiasm for Saudi regional policy, both on the Yemen war and a potential escalation with Iran.

Sisi is guaranteed a win in a vote where, critics say, authorities have locked up opponents or forced them to halt election campaigns.

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