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Egypt, Sudan foreign ministers discuss strained relations

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January 26, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Egyptian and Sudanese foreign ministers vowed on Friday to work together to defuse tensions and remove any misunderstanding between the two countries.

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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)

Sudanese Foreign Ministers Ibrahim Ghandour and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry met on the sidelines of the preparatory meetings of the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, both Ghandour and Shoukry stressed the need to defuse tensions and remove any misunderstanding between the two countries.

"Sometimes, differences may happen between neighbours and brothers. Our mission in diplomacy and as officials is to always contain any disagreements. So, we agreed to work together to contain any (trouble) that could disturb the relations between the two countries and develop it together under the leadership of his Excellency President Omar al-Bashir and His Excellency President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi," said Ghanour.

For his part, Minister Shoukry emphasized they are always working to strengthen "the holy relations" between the two countries.

"We agreed that we should work together through different institutions to remove any misunderstandings that affect bilateral relations and to put the relationship on the upward path for the benefit of the two peoples because what really binds them are bonds of love and brotherhood," he added.

The tumultuous relations between the two countries experienced last December a new crisis over media attacks against Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir after a visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Sudan. Also, Sudan accused Egypt and Eritrea of supporting rebel groups to attack Kassala state on the eastern border.

But the main differences remain the dispute over the border triangle area of Halayeb and the construction of Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam that Sudan backs.

Shoukery mentioned without elaboration a tripartite summit for Presidents al-Bashir, al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The spokesperson of the Egyptian foreign ministry said the two ministers "outlined the national responsibility of the media outlets in both countries in terms of avoiding any offending reports, and affirmed total respect for the two countries’ political leadership".

In Khartoum, the foreign ministry spokesperson said the meeting discussed the meeting discussed the strained relationship between the two countries and the "ways to push (bilateral relations) forward by tackling what is happening in a radical way".

(ST)

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