February 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Egyptian al-Wafd Party Sayed al-Badawi revealed on Sunday that Cairo and Khartoum agreed to deploy joint military patrols on the borders to curb the arms smuggling.
- FILE - Al-Sayed Al-Badawi (L), head of the Egyptian delegation which is on an official visit to Sudan, is welcomed by Sudan’s President Omar al- Bashir in Khartoum on May 7, 2011 (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/AP)
Badawi who spoke at a press conference in Cairo following a meeting with the Sudanese ambassador Kamal Hassan Ali praised cooperation and coordination between the two countries and Khartoum ’s desire to develop and improve the relationship and its continuing quest to support Egypt on various issues.
He said that Sudan represents a strategic dimension to Egypt from the south stressing the desire of the government and political parties for continued cooperation between the two countries.
The party chief dismissed what he called rumours about the position of the Sudan regarding Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam calling it unfounded adding that Sudan is always aligned with the people of Egypt.
The Sudanese envoy on his part said that his government is keen on addressing the contentious issues through dialogue and understanding including the border dispute over Halayeb and Shalateen areas, calling on the media to refrain from carrying sensational reports.
He said that the talk about Khartoum’s support for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt and providing them with weapons through the southern borders is totally false.
Ali disclosed that Sudanese authorities previously offered Cairo forming a joint force of the two armies to protect their common borders and cracking down on arms smuggling.
On the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, he said that this issue requires a serious dialogue between the three countries until a solution is found that satisfies all parties stressing that Sudan will not take a position hostile to the water and national security of Egypt.
Sudan Tribune has learned that the Sudanese Irrigation Minister will travel to Cairo in the coming days to discuss the water issue.
Also Khartoum based Alray Alaam reported in its Monday’s edition that Sudanese defence minister Abdel Rahim Hussein will fly Tuesday to Cairo for talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdelfatah al-Sissi on border and joint security issues.
Egypt fears that the $4.6 billion hydropower plant, which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, will diminish its share of the river’s water, arguing its historic water rights must be maintained.
Ethiopia is the source of around 85% of the Nile’s water, mainly through rainfall in its highlands. Over 90% of Egyptians rely on water from the Nile’s flows.
Last June, a panel of international experts who were tasked by the three countries to study the impacts of the Ethiopian dam on lower riparian countries, including Sudan and Egypt, found that the dam project will not cause significant harm to either country.
Cairo remains unconvinced and has sought further studies and consultation with Khartoum and Addis Ababa.
Sudan, however, has accepted the final findings and offered to send experts and technicians to help in the dam’s construction, a move welcomed by Ethiopia.