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Al-Bashir, al-Sisi say resolved to improve Sudan-Egypt relations

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Presidents al-Bashir (L) and al-Sisi shake hands at Cairo airport before Bashir departure to Khartoum on 19 March 2018 (Photo Egyptian presidency)
March 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) — Egypt and Sudan leaders Monday pledged to work together to strengthen bilateral relations and to forge a tripartite partnership with Ethiopia over the Nile water, announcing the end of troubled days.

Omer Al-Bashir on Monday spent the whole day with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo giving the impression as he was there to support a friendly president in a campaign for his re-election within a week.

In fact, the two leaders who are just in a truce after suspending media attacks held discussions on security cooperation to end regional tensions as Egypt was accused of involving itself in the troubled-Libya and backing Darfur rebels or coordinating with Eritrea to create trouble in eastern Sudan and attack a controversial dam project in Ethiopia.

At the end of the one-day visit, the two leaders told reporters they discussed ways to promote common interests and develop joint projects, turning their back on suspicions and propaganda.

President al-Sisi recalled the historical and ancestral relations between the two countries and "the sacred bond" that links them adding that the "security of Sudan means the security of Egypt and that the security of Egypt means the security of Sudan".

He further said he discussed with al-Bashir ways to address mutual challenges adding they agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy, electricity, transport and infrastructure, as well as river Nile.

The president-candidate also said he discussed with the visiting leader the outstanding issues on the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam adding they agreed to continue the tripartite discussions to reach a solution preserving the interests of the three countries.

"We will work together and the brothers in Ethiopia to reach a partnership over the river Nile, and this will have common benefit for all parties without harming any side," he said.

Al-Bashir, al-Sisi, and the former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn agreed last January to coordinate and work together for the common interest of the peoples of their countries.

The irrigation ministers had to meet in February to settle the divergences of technical reports and to build up a joint esprit of trust and mutual interests. But the resignation of the Ethiopian prime minister has forced Addis Ababa to demand to postpone the meeting.

In his remakes, al-Bashir, like al-Sisi, didn’t elaborate much on the matters they discussed or the progress they made.

But, he stressed the strong political will of the two countries to overcome the issues of Nile water and Halayeb border area.

The Sudanese president added that the direct talks with his Egyptian counterpart were positive, and increased mutual understanding, paving the way to more cooperation between the two countries in all fields.

"We are witnessing the problems that the region is facing. Thanks to God, we are immune from these problems," but "This requires coordination and consultation between the two countries through the established mechanisms in all areas," he added.

The Sudanese leader was alluding to the situation in Libya and other regional troubles in the Middle East.

Al-Bashir’s delegation included his foreign minister Ibrahim Gnadour, the head of intelligence and security apparatus Salah Gosh who briefed the joint presidential meeting, together with their Egyptian counterparts about the progress done in the different fields, according to Ghandour.

(ST)

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