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Khartoum, Cairo agree to apply new visa measures

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May 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese and Egyptian foreign ministries Thursday said they agreed on measures to regulate the issuance of entry visa and establish principles of strategic cooperation between Khartoum and Cairo.

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Sudan’s FM Ibrahim Ghandour (L) meets with his Egyptian counterpart Samih Shoukri in Cairo on January 9, 2016 (Photo released by the Sudanese FM)

In a joint statement following an emergency meeting of the Sudanese-Egyptian consular committee in Cairo, the two sides said they agreed to issue a free six-month visa renewable for a similar period for holders of regular passports.

They also agreed to exempt girls below 16 years old and women above 50 years from entry visa. The decision also included nationals of both nations residing in the Arab Gulf states, United States, Canada, Australia and Europe provided they have valid residency and exit and entry visas from these countries.

According to the statement, Sudanese living in Egypt prior to 1995 will be treated as an Egyptian citizen.

Also, the Egyptian foreign ministry said it was decided to exempt the Sudanese from registration procedures, visa and residency fees. The Sudanese side decided to apply the same measures on the Egyptians.

Furthermore, the two sides agreed to continue to exempt holders of diplomatic passports from entry visa.

The statement pointed out the two sides discussed ways to ease movement of Egyptian trucks heading to Sudan via the joint border crossing points, saying the Sudanese side underscored readiness to provide the necessary means to facilitate entry of these trucks.

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.

Last month, Sudan issued a decision requiring Egyptian nationals seeking to enter its territory to obtain entry visas, saying the measure comes within the framework of the periodic review and evaluation to regulate and control entry to Sudan.

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.

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.

(ST)

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