An Egyptian court has rescinded the government’s plans to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, according to UK news agency Reuters.

The decision was made by the State Council after a number of prominent lawyers and activists rejected the move by Abdul Fatah al-Sisi to hand Saudi Arabia the two islands in April.

It is understood that the state has the right to appeal the decision at a higher court.

The sovereignty of the two islands, Tiran and Sanfir, was ceded to Saudi Arabia during King Salman Abulazziz al-Saud’s visit to Cairo in April, which was followed by a number of financial agreements aimed at supporting Egypt’s economy.

Ownership of the uninhabited islands, which sit at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba, has long been disputed, with both Cairo and Riyadh claiming them, although they were under Egyptian control.