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Egypt Court Backs Government in Red Sea Islands Dispute

An Egyptian appeals court on Saturday upheld an agreement to give control of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, providing a boost for the government in a case that has prompted rare street protests.

The territorial deal, announced in April, caused public uproar among many Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country.

The case has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided billions of dollars of aid to Egypt but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations.  Last week, the Egyptian government approved the deal to hand over the islands and sent it to parliament for ratification, despite the legal dispute over the plan.

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