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Sudanese-Egyptian consular committee to meet on Wednesday

Presidents al-Bashir (L) and al-Sisi shake hands at Cairo airport before Bashir departure to Khartoum on 19 March 2018 (Photo Egyptian presidency)

June 26, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said the fourth meeting of the consular committee between Sudan and Egypt would kick off on Wednesday in Cairo.

In press statements on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’im said the meeting will review the implementation of previous meeting’s decisions regarding facilitation of movement and residence of citizens of both nations in the other country besides a number of other related issues.

He pointed out that the Sudanese delegation would include representatives from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education alongside other bodies.

According to al-Nai’im, the meeting comes in preparation for the meeting of the Egyptian-Sudanese Higher Committee (ESHC) chaired by President Omer al-Bashir and President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi which will be held in October in Khartoum.

On 18 January 2004, Sudan and Egypt signed the Four Freedom Agreement. It was signed in Cairo by former president Hosni Mubarak and Sudanese president al-Bashir.

The agreement guarantees to citizens from the two countries freedom of movement and residence, right to work and own property.

Egypt under Mubarak feared a massive influx of refugees or even terrorists from Sudan if the accord was implemented.

However, the opening of the Eshkait-Qustul border crossing between the two countries in 2014 was seen as proof for the ability of the two nations to overcome all obstacles to develop bilateral cooperation.

The tumultuous relations between Sudan and Egypt experienced last December a new crisis over media attacks against 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.

(ST)