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Egypt, Sudan leaders agree to build strategic relations

President Omer al-Bashir receives Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on 19 July 2018 (SUNA photo)
July 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - In a meeting held in Khartoum on Thursday evening, Sudanese and Egyptian, leaders agreed to enhance joint cooperation and build strategic relations in all fields, stressing the importance of overcoming differences.

Sudan and Egypt which were close allies now have several pending issues, including the Ethiopian Renaissance dam and the border dispute over Halayeb triangle, which has been under Egyptian control since 1995.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said in a joint press conference with his counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that ministers in the two governments would set a clear strategy at specific times and that the leadership of the two countries would work to remove any obstacles.

"We want this relationship to be strategic in all areas of economic, commercial, cultural, security and military, as well as projects linking the roads between the two countries," he added.

Al-Bashir further announced the signing of an agreement to connect the electrical network and studies to link the railways’ networks between Sudan and Egypt, with an agreement to remove all obstacles to the movement of individuals, goods and materials and others.

He pointed out that the visit of his Egyptian counterpart to Sudan, "comes within the framework of continuous communication initiated by President Sisi since he took office and his keenness to consolidate relations between the two countries."

Following the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, the two neighbours accused each other of supporting opposition groups as several former Egyptian Islamists fled to Sudan before to leave for other countries especially Turkey.

Also, Egypt support for the Libyan general Hafter who uses Darfur rebels to control the eastern part of Libya contributed with Cairo-Asmara rapprochement to strain the relations.

However, Sudan’s decision in January 2018 to close the border with Eritrea which is accused of supporting rebels with Egyptian support brought Cairo and Khartoum to work set up a joint mechanism for security cooperation and to establish committees to discuss ways to settle the other disputes.

For his part, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that his visit to Sudan comes within the framework of his firm and clear policy to strengthen relations between the two countries in all fields, and stressed that what binds the two countries is difficult to limit.

Al-Sisi also used his presence in Khartoum to congratulate both Ethiopia and Eritrea on overcoming the differences, opening a new page to strengthen their ties. He further reiterated his country’s supportive stance towards achieving peace in South Sudan and praised Sudan’s efforts to settle the nearly-five-year conflict.

He stressed that the two countries have overcome many obstacles and agreed on the projects related to electricity linkage, cooperation and coordination, stressing his country’s continued support to these efforts and remove obstacles to areas of cooperation.

The Egyptian leader said that the two countries have overcome many obstacles and agreed on the projects related to electricity linkage, cooperation and coordination, stressing his country’s continued support to these efforts and remove obstacles to areas of cooperation.

His delegation included the ministers of foreign affairs, water resources and irrigation, agriculture and defence.

This is the fifth visit of the Egyptian president to Khartoum and the first of his second term. His last visit to Khartoum was about two years ago, in October 2016.

(ST)