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Egyptian FM and spy chief start visit to Sudan on Sunday

May 8, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and intelligence Chief Omer Suleiman will arrive in Sudan tomorrow for talks with president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and president of South Sudan Salva Kiir for talks on a range of issues.

Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted foreign ministry spokesperson Hussam Zaki said the visit comes within the framework of emphasis on Egypt’s interest in the security, unity and stability of Sudan.

He noted that Cairo has a genuine interest in South Sudan future in light of its strong relations with all political powers in the country.

Sudan state media said that both men will deliver to Bashir Hosni Mubarak’s congratulations over winning the recent elections.

The Egyptian delegation is scheduled to pay a visit to Juba to meet the Salva Kiir Mayardit for the same purpose.

Egypt is stepping up its involvement on Sudan affairs ahead of the 2011 self determination referendum in the South which is widely expected to result in Africa’s newest state.

Earlier this year, Mubarak has reportedly criticized Khartoum for lacking the will to preserve the unity and warning that there are regional powers wanting to fuel conflict in the area which he described as “vital to Egypt”.

The issue of South Sudan secession is sensitive one to Cairo largely due to its impact on the Nile water agreement and the possible reallocation of share with the new state even though legal experts say that the water agreements are still binding to the new state.

Sudan and Egypt have joined hands last month against other Nile basin which are fiercely pushing for a new agreement fueling tensions and anger on all sides.

(ST)