June 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir called Egypt’s president-elect, Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, on Wednesday evening to congratulate him on winning the elections.
- Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) & Egypt’s president-elect Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi (R)
Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) quoted presidential press secretary Emad Sid Ahmed as saying that al-Sisi thanked Bashir for the call and expressed his readiness to work on bolstering cooperation between the two countries.
Ahmed added that Bashir accepted an invitation extended by al-Sisi to visit Egypt.
He also announced that first vice-president Bakri Hassan Salih will lead Sudan’s delegation to al-Sisi swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.
Relations between the two countries deteriorated over the last year due to Sudan’s support of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam which Egypt believes will infringe on it historic rights in the Nile water per colonial agreements of 1929 and 1959.
Khartoum is also accused by Egyptian media of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement which has been pushed off Egypt’s political scene after the toppling of president Mohamed Morsi last year by then army chief al-Sisi in response to mass anti-Morsi demonstrations in the country.
The Islamist government in Sudan has appeared uncomfortable with the ouster of Morsi given the common ideology they shared with him and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.
Unlike most Arab leaders, the Sudanese president did not congratulate interim Egyptian president Adli Mansour on his new role.
Last month, the Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti accused the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GID) of sponsoring anti-Khartoum rebels who are residing in Cairo despite repeated complaints by his government.
"[Egypt] does not remember hundreds of opposition [members] who belong to armed groups bearing arms [against the government] and have safe premises sponsored by security and intelligence service and sponsored by the state and have full rights to hold seminars and adopt political positions," Karti told al-Sudani newspaper in an interview.
"We urged them [Cairo] dozens of times and they asked us for names [of rebel figures]. We wrote [provided to them] hundreds of names and repeated it dozens of times and [ambassador] Kamal Hassan Ali knows this file completely. They even demanded from us their sites [where opposition members are staying] and we identified these villas and apartments in which they reside. We are fully aware of who in the [Egyptian] intelligence agencies dealing with them" he added.
The Sudanese top diplomat emphasized that they will not reciprocate and denied hosting any Egyptian opposition figures from the Muslim Brotherhood.
"Sudan has always been respectful of the political situation in Egypt, and we declared over and over that we will not be a launch pad for any damages towards Egypt and in fact Sudan is free of any of the symbols of the Egyptian opposition," he said.