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Sudan, Egypt FMs discuss Ethiopian dam

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January 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Ghandour Saturday held talks in Cairo, with his Egyptian counterpart Samih Shoukri on issues of common interest, with emphasis on the issue of the Grand Renaissance Dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.

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Sudan’s FM Ibrahim Ghandour (L) meets with his Egyptian counterpart Samih Shoukri in Cairo on January 9, 2016 (Photo released by the Sudanese FM)

Sudanese embassy in Cairo said Ghandour is scheduled to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and hand him a message from President Omer al-Bashir.

Ghandour had arrived in Cairo Friday night, leading a high-level delegation on a two-day official visit, at the invitation of the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

The information office in Sudan’s Embassy in Egypt said Ghandour’s visit was in the context of the continuing political consultations between the two countries.

It said Bashir’s message to al-Sisi is related to the means for boosting bilateral relations between Sudan and Egypt in various fields..

The information office said the Sudanese-Egyptian talks would also tackle the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the joint presidential committee between the two countries, scheduled to hold its first meeting in the near future in Cairo.

The two presidents will co-chair the committee .

Previously the committee was at the ministerial level. But it has now been promoted to presidential level with the two presidents each chairing his side.

THE RENAISSANCE DAM WILL NOT COLLAPSE

Ghandour has ruled out possible collapse of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam.

"We are sure about the safety of the dam , because it is being built by an international construction firm," Ghandour said, during a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Saturday.

He also ruled out the drowning of the Sudanese cities if the dam happens to collapse. He said even in the case of the dam’s collapse, that will not harm Sudan, because the dam is 20 km away from the Sudan border.

Ghandour confirmed that Sudan was keen about its interests in the Nile water like any country in the eastern basin, without any harm to Egypt and Ethiopia.

“The dam is being built on Ethiopian soil , 20 km from our border,’’ he said.

“Sudan is not neutral in this issue and , equally, it is not biased,’’ he stressed in reply to aone question.

RELATIONS WITH EGYPT

On Sudan’s relation with Egypt in the light of the dispute over the border enclave of Halayeb, Ghandour said that every Egyptian and every Sudanese believes that Halayeb is part of his country and for that, there is no way out of this dispute other than dialogue.

He, in this regard, denied that Sudan had filed a complaint on the Halayeb issue to the United Nations Security Council.

Ghandour described his talks with Shoukri as "superb".

He further downplayed the emergence of some tensions between the two countries from time to time describing as "Summer cloud".

"Such tensions are no more than a summer cloud which very soon fades away," he said.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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