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Sudan threatens to apply similar deportation measures against Egyptians

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Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry and Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour speak to the media in Khartoum on 20 April 2017 (ST Photo)

May 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Monday threatened to reciprocate Cairo’s recent deportation measure if the latter continues to deny entry of Sudanese nationals at the airport.

On 25 April, the Egyptian authorities denied entry and deported journalist Iman Kamal al-Din from Al-Sudani newspaper just 24 hours after a similar move against journalist Al-Tahir Satti of Al-Intibaha daily.

Ghandour, who addressed the National Assembly Monday, said the government would apply the principle of reciprocity if any Sudanese was deported from Egypt.

“We agreed with the Egyptian foreign minister during his recent visit to Sudan on a number of issues however the deportation of the journalists almost brought us back to square one,” said Ghandour in press statements.

He denied being aware that Cairo has a list including names of Sudanese journalists banned from entering Egyptian territory, saying “we asked Cairo to provide us with this list if any so that Khartoum could prepare a similar list”.

“We are waiting for Egypt’s official reply through the Sudanese embassy in Cairo?” he added.

The minister added that Khartoum doesn’t want relations between the two countries to deteriorate to the level it reached during the 1990s, stressing that relations with Cairo must be “handled delicately” due to the large presence of Sudanese nationals in Egypt.

It is noteworthy that relations between Sudan and Egypt deteriorated during the early 1990s, shortly after President Omer al-Bashir came to power in Sudan, with Sudan accused of sponsoring an assassination attempt on the Egyptian president and hosting radical Islamist groups.

The Sudanese top diplomat disclosed he received a phone call from his Egyptian counterpart in which the latter underscored desire to settle the entire outstanding issues between the two countries.

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, Sudan indicated that it would take some measures to end the Egyptian presence in the disputed area of Halayeb triangle after some Egyptian media outlets launched a campaign ridiculing Sudan’s cultural monuments.

However, the two countries last week agreed to work together to ease tensions through the control of hostile media campaigns and to restraint activities of opposition groups in their territories.

The two agreements have been reached in a series of meetings between the Sudanese officials and a visiting Egyptian delegation led by the Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry.

(ST)

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