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Egypt, Sudan agree to enhance border protection cooperation

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Sudanese defence minister (R) and Egyptian counterpart (L) review the guard of honour at headquarters of the defence ministry in Cairo on August 20, 2017 (SUNA photo)
August 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf Monday agreed to hold a meeting for the joint military committee to promote cooperation and coordination on border control, said the Egyptian Presidency.

Al-Sisi on Monday met Ibn Ouf in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Defense and Military Production, Major Gen. Sadqi Subhi and Sudan’s Ambassador to Cairo Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim.

The spokesperson for the Egyptian Presidency, Alaa Youssef said Ibn Ouf expressed Sudan’s keenness to promote ties with Egypt and to continue coordination and consultations between the two sides to address the various challenges facing the two nations.

According to Youssef, Ibn Ouf also expressed appreciation for Egypt’s pivotal role in the Arab world and the joint Arab work, saying “Egypt’s security is part of Sudan’s security and Egypt is the safety valve for the whole Arab nation”.

He expressed readiness to continue cooperation between the two defence ministries to overcome any obstacles that may disrupt the Egyptian-Sudanese relations.

Youssef pointed that al-Sisi asked Ibn Ouf to convey his greetings to President Omer al-Bashir, stressing the deep, unique and historical ties between the two countries.

He added Egypt’s foreign policy is based on well-established principles and values and on top of which is the good-neighbourliness, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and cooperation for peace, construction and development.

The Egyptian president pointed to the need to continue the work to push forward cooperation between the two countries and strengthen ties in the various fields.

The spokesperson further said the meeting discussed ways to enhance security and military coordination, pointing the two sides agreed to hold a meeting for the joint military committee to enhance border protection.

It is noteworthy that Ibn Ouf has arrived in Cairo on Sunday on top of a senior military delegation. He met with his Egyptian counterpart and discussed the impact of recent local and regional developments on security and stability in the region.

Following rebel attacks in North and East Darfur attacks last May, Sudan has accused Egypt of supporting the rebel activities saying Cairo now works to destabilise the regime.

Cairo denied the accusation but it was not able to explain how the rebels got the Egyptian armoured vehicles.

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.

The deterioration of bilateral relations between the two countries goes back to the attempt to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in June 1995 followed by the deployment of Egyptian troops in the disputed area of Halayeb triangle.

Since then, Khartoum has been moving to improve its ties with the eastern and western neighbours, instead of its strategic ties with Egypt.

Khartoum further went to back the construction of a dam in Ethiopia, which Cairo says will hurt its water needs. Also, the Sudanese government recently signed investment agreements with Gulf countries. Accordingly, they will establish huge agricultural projects that require the full use of Sudan share of the Nile water, a move which is seen in Cairo as another threat to Egypt.

(ST)

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