April 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan Friday has issued a decision requiring Egyptian nationals seeking to enter its territory to obtain entry visas.
- Passengers arrive at Khartoum’s international airport September 13, 2012. (Photo Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
According to directives seen by Sudan Tribune, Sudan’s interior ministry said: “Egyptian citizen from 18 to 49 years of age are required to obtain an entry visa from Sudan’s embassies and consulates”.
The new measure excludes women, children and males over 50 years of age.
In a statement released Friday, Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said the new measure comes within the framework of the periodic review and evaluation to organise and control entry to Sudan.
He stressed Khartoum’s commitment to the agreements signed between the two countries regarding facilitation of entry and stay of Egyptians in Sudan, saying the Egyptian concerned organs have been notified of the measure.
Media reports have quoted sources at Cairo airport as saying Sudan, starting Friday, has imposed entry visa on Egyptian males from 18 to 50 year old.
According to the reports, air aviation companies at Cairo airport has been notified of the measure by Khartoum airport authorities since last Thursday, saying they were warned that passengers who don’t hold visas would be returned back.
Observers in Khartoum close to the file of bilateral relations between Sudan and Egypt said this decision might be triggered by security concerns following the arrest of several Arab nationals including Egyptians after an explosion at a residential building in Khartoum where it uncovered base ingredients for fabricating a bomb last February.
Egyptians were exempted from the visa in line with the four freedoms agreements between the two countries. However, the Egyptian authorities apply the reciprocity on this matter and continued to impose entry visa on Sudanese from 18- to 50 year old.
Sudan’s decision comes two days ahead of the meeting of the joint political consultations committee between Sudan and Egypt at the level of foreign ministers, scheduled for Sunday in Khartoum.
Tensions between Khartoum and Cairo have escalated following the former’s decision to restrict imports of Egyptian farming products which was reciprocated by Cairo’s decision to raise residency fees for Sudanese living in Egypt.
Also, senior Sudanese border demarcation official last month disclosed that Sudan’s foreign ministry has instructed the concerned bodies to develop a roadmap to end the Egyptian presence in the disputed area of Halayeb triangle.
Some Egyptian media outlets have recently launched a campaign ridiculing Sudan’s cultural monuments and in particular the 4,600 years old Meroe Pyramids following the visit of the Queen Mother of Qatar Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned to the Sudanese pyramids.