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Egypt’s FM to visit Khartoum next week to discuss contentious issues

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April 12, 2107 (KHARTOUM) - The Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said he will visit Khartoum next week to participate in the joint political consultation meeting pointing the meeting aims to clear up any “misunderstanding” between the two countries.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

According to the Cairo-based al-Masry al-Youm newspaper, Shoukry said Sudan is “the natural extension of Egyptian security”, pointing the two countries enjoy historic ties and share joint interests.

Shoukry, who spoke during the meeting of the Arab affairs committee at the Egyptian parliament, stressed that relations should be “based on mutual respect, and continued contacts at all levels between the two sides”.

Egypt’s top diplomat also underscored the need to deal with the joint issues objectively in order to avoid any misunderstanding that could harm relations between the two countries.

Commenting on the cancellation of his visit to Khartoum which was scheduled for last week, Shoukry said he “was looking forward to going to Khartoum last Saturday, but weather conditions prevented it, as the pilot had to cancel the flight due to lack of visibility in Khartoum”.

He added the meeting was not held during the two days following the scheduled day because he and his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour had prior commitments, saying the meeting was rescheduled for next week but didn’t determine the exact date.

Shoukry underlined that Egypt is keen to promote its important relation with Sudan, saying “we hope the next visit will be fruitful and transparent in order to serve the ties between the two sides”.

It is noteworthy that Shoukry’s statements came just hours after Sudan’s President
Omer al-Bashir made a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi to express Khartoum’s solidarity with the Egyptian government and people against the terrorist attacks which hit two Churches in Tanta and Alexandria.

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 negative 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.

Last week, Sudan issued a decision requiring Egyptian nationals seeking to enter its territory to obtain entry visas, saying the measure aims to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks and it was taken in coordination with the Egyptian authorities.

(ST)

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