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South Sudanese official in Egypt for bilateral talks

February 20, 2018 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese official is in Cairo, Egypt for bilateral talks with the authorities in the North African country.

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Egypt’s assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for South Sudan and Sudan with President Salva Kiir, June 12, 2017 (ST)

A presidential aide told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the minister in the office of the president, Mayiik Ayii Deng has traveled to Cairo with a special message from President Salva Kiir to his Egyptian counterpart.

“You know the country is facing a lot of problems and one of the countries whose leadership has been standing against foreign attempts to impose arms embargo is the Arab republic of Egypt. It was one of the countries at the United Nations Security Council which objected sanctions when they were introduced by the Americans,” said the aide.

“Now the same Americans are continuing to push to allies to support them achieve their regime change agenda which they did not achieve through rebellion of Riek Machar and the diplomatic campaign by the former detainees. Now they want to achieve the regime change through arms embargo. So his Excellency, the president of the republic is aware of these moves and is the reason he decided to send Hon. Minister to solicit the support of the Egyptian people and the government”, he added.

The visit is viewed as part of efforts by South Sudan government to brief the Egyptian government and members of the Arab League in general of the kind of activities of the Juba government is undertaking to end the war in the country and how it intends to enhance and strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations.

Egypt was one of the country’s that recognised South Sudan’s independence when it got its independence from Sudan in July 2011.

Over the years, however, tensions between Egypt and Sudan, two countries bound by the Nile River and historic ties, often play out in the media, with the two governments often keeping their distances.

The latest row could deepen a rift between Egypt and Sudan over a massive dam being built by Ethiopia that Cairo views as a threat to its share of the Nile, which provides nearly all of Egypt’s water.

Negotiations over the dam are at an impasse, with Sudan appearing to tilt toward Ethiopia in the dispute. The spat could also add to regional tensions. Egypt joined Saudi Arabia in its blockade of Qatar earlier this year, and has long been at odds with both Turkey and Qatar over their support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a regional Islamist movement that is now outlawed in Egypt.