Egypt, Sudan to hold high-profile meeting to ease tense ties

Ahmed Abu Zeid

Ahmed Abu Zeid

Egypt and Sudan are scheduled to hold a high-profile meeting in Cairo on Thursday to discuss ways to improve their ties, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Foreign ministers and intelligence chiefs of both countries will attend this meeting, Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

The meeting aims “to discuss the course of bilateral relations and coordinate between the two countries regarding a number of regional issues of mutual interest,” Zeid said.

He noted that the meeting will be held under the instructions of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir after their meeting on the sidelines of the recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The Egyptian-Sudanese relations have been tense over the past few years on various issues, including their differences over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building on the Nile River.

While both Ethiopia and Sudan hope to reap massive benefits from the GERD construction, Egypt is worried that it undermines its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.

Egypt and Sudan also have a territorial dispute over the border region of Halayeb and Shalateen, which is currently under Egyptian control.

In May 2017, Bashir accused Egypt of providing military support to the armed rebels in his country, which was strongly denied by Sisi.

In early January, Khartoum recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultation over “potential security threats” from Egypt and Eritrea following reported military moves in Eritrea’s Sawa area near the border with Sudan’s state of Kassala.

Sisi has denied that Egypt is conspiring against Sudan or Ethiopia, stressing that his country is keen to build positive relations with all other countries and that the peoples of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia “need investments not wars”.

—Xinhua

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