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Egypt, Sudan discuss strengthening bilateral relations

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C) and President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir (L) take part in the celebrations staged within 43rd anniversary of the 1973 victory over Israel on 5 October, 2016 [Egyptian Presidency Press Office/Anadolu Agency]
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C) and President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir (L) take part in the celebrations staged within 43rd anniversary of the 1973 victory over Israel on 5 October, 2016 [Egyptian Presidency Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and his Sudanese counterpart, Ibrahim Ghandour, met yesterday to discuss removing obstacles hindering cooperation between the two countries.

The ministers’ discussion came on the sidelines of the regular ministerial meeting of the Council of the League of Arab States in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The meeting discussed the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as well as a number of regional issues of common interest such as the current situation in southern Sudan.

During the meeting, Shoukry stressed that his country is keen to remove any obstacles that hinder bilateral relations with Sudan.

Read: Egypt and Sudan conclude strategic meeting in Cairo

According to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, the two ministers discussed “the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and ways to hold a tripartite summit between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the sidelines of the recent African Summit in Addis Ababa.”

On Monday, the Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim, returned to Cairo, for the first time in two-months amid heightened tensions between the two neighbouring states.

Sudan recalled its ambassador from Egypt early January without providing the details behind the move. At the time, Egypt said it was “assessing the situation to take appropriate action.”

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Relations have been soured between the two African countries following disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through their territories.

A tripartite meeting was set to take place on 24 and 25 February in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, with the participation of foreign ministers, water ministers and heads of the intelligence services of the Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, but the meeting was postponed following the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation on 15 February.

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