prompted rare protests.
Cheers broke out in the Cairo courtroom as the judge read out the
verdict confirming Egyptian sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir and
saying that the government had failed to provide evidence that the
islands were Saudi.
The islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba control the narrow
shipping lanes running north to the Red Sea port cities of Eilat and
Aqaba, in Israel and Jordan.
The verdict, which is final, is a slap on the hnds of the Egy[ptian government that gave the islands away in exchange for a large Saudi loan. The case provoked angry reactions and three Egyptian lawyers filed a lawsuit. The verdict is bound to add to the friction that alraedy has risen between
Riyadh and Cairo over a string of regional issues, including Syria and