August 19, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said today that Egypt must seek to resolve its problems without foreign intervention and asserted Khartoum’s full support of the Egyptian people, expressing hope that the northern neighbor will emerge from its political turmoil through dialogue.
- Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (R) stands next to his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti as they address the press in Khartoum on August 19, 2013 (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Karti was speaking at a joint news conference with the visiting Egyptian foreign minister Nabil Fahmy who arrived in Khartoum on Monday for a brief visit to deliver a message from interim president Adli Mansour.
The two top diplomats discussions focused mainly on the unrest in Egypt but also tackled other issues.
The Sudanese foreign minister said that their talks dealt with water issues, border security, reopening of border crossings and how to boost Egyptian investments, adding that they also discussed cooperation between the two ministries in regional and international forums.
Discussions also included the African Union (AU) decision to suspend Egypt’s membership following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi and in line with the rules of the continental body on situations involving the toppling of democratically elected governments.
Karti called for patience and dialogue with the AU in order for Egypt to reclaim its AU seat.
He reiterated Sudan’s stance on developments regarding Egypt, saying they are internal affairs.
“We support Egypt and the Egyptian people to reach consensus and peace”, the Sudanese foreign minister said.
When asked by a reporter why Sudan welcomed the 2011 revolution which saw the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, Karti deflected the question saying the matter is complicated.
"This is a matter that should not be discussed in the media," Karti said in response.
He further stressed that Sudan has not offered any initiative to mediate between the Egyptian parties contrary to some media reports.
Fahmy, on his first visit abroad since assuming office, underscored the depth of relations of the two countries, describing his trip to Sudan as "normal".
The Egyptian minister was supposed to tour Arab countries but later cancelled it and confined it to Khartoum and Juba. He justified it by saying that scheduling conflicts prompted the change.
He explained that he is on a mission to clarify the situation in Egypt for its neighbors "especially Sudan".
The official also denied that his country harbors Sudanese rebel groups, saying that Egypt does not allow any activities within its territory that threatens Sudan’s national security.
In a related issue, several MPs have protested against allowing the Egyptian foreign minister’s visit to Sudan, calling upon the government to sent him off and return the aid which was extended by the Egyptian government to the flood victims in Sudan.
But some other MPs rejected this stance, saying that Khartoum should not object to even receiving Egypt’s defense minister Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi who forced Morsi out of power to the dismay of Islamists all over the world.
The dramatic ouster of Morsi last month was greeted with delight by millions of jubilant people on the streets of Cairo and other cities across Egypt.
Sudan’s Islamist government has maintained a neutral stance on the toppling of Morsi but nonetheless appeared uncomfortable given the common ideology they shared with Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.
Unlike most Arab leaders, the Sudanese president has not congratulated the interim Egyptian president Adli after being sworn in.
In the Sudanese capital, dozens of Islamists and Egyptian expatriates staged two demonstrations last week to protest the bloody clampdown in Cairo to clear camps occupied by Morsi supporters which led to several hundred deaths and thousands of injuries.