Following the court ruling on the Red Sea island deal, Egypt is looking to retain its ties with Saudi Arabia after the rejection of the transfer of the Red Sea islands consequently put a strain on Egypt-Saudi Arabia relations.
In addition to the flop of the Red Sea deal, Egypt also showed unpassionate support of Saudi Arabia’s mission in Syria and Yemen.
Regardless of the strain, these pose on the Egypt-Saudi Arabia relations, Egypt – which is financially dependent on the middle eastern country, and whose major trade partner is Saudi Arabia – will likely do what it takes to preserve their ties, according to analysts.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars in aid and credit to Egypt since then-army chief al-Sisi overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
“The government will not spare any effort to implement the [islands] agreement,” Mostafa Kamel el-Sayed, a political science professor at Cairo University said.
The Egyptian government “will use all legal means available for achieving that, whether at the constitutional court or the parliament,” Sayed says.
Since the court gave the verdict on Monday, neither the Egyptian government nor the Saudi Arabian government has commented on the ruling.
During King Salman’s 5-day visit to the northern African country in 2016, Egypt’s president announced that the Tiran and Sanafir islands will be transferred to Saudi Arabia. Both had signed a deal that will found the commencement of the age-old red sea bridge initiative.
President al-Sisi also endorsed the bridge to be named after King Salman.
However, Egyptians protested and the case was taken to court. The court ruled that the islands belonged to Egypt but the Egyptian government appealed for the case to be taken to the Higher Administrative Court, which in turn ruled that the islands are sovereign Egyptian territories.