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Sudan’s Burhan: ‘We share interests with Ethiopia for stability of region’

November 4, 2020 at 10:44 am

Sudan’s Sovereign Council chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in Khartoum, Sudan on 26 September 2020 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]

Head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said yesterday that his country shares common interests with Ethiopia in a way that serves the stability of the region.

This came at the end of Al-Burhan’s visit to Ethiopia, which he described as “successful”, during which he discussed means of supporting and developing mutual relations in regional issues, according to a statement issued by the Sovereignty Council’s media office.

Al-Burhan said: “The two countries [Sudan and Ethiopia] share common interests in a way that serves the region and achieves stability in all fields.”

He praised the remarkable development in agriculture and industry in Ethiopia and wished progress and prosperity for the Ethiopian people.

The Sudanese official thanked Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, and expressed his appreciation for the hospitality and warm reception.

READ: Sudan will benefit from Ethiopian dam, says legal expert

The statement indicated that Al-Burhan’s visit, which started on Sunday, included a tour of several cities and industrial, agricultural and investment compounds.

Abiy Ahmed thanked Al-Burhan for accepting his invitation, which had a “positive impact through the exchange of views and ideas,” according to the same statement.

The statement did not address the issue of the Renaissance Dam and the border crisis between the two countries.

Al-Fashqa region, an area of 251 km, is witnessing violent confrontations between farmers from both sides, especially during the rainy season, which usually leads to human loses and material damages.

On Monday, the Six-Party Committee of Experts from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on the Renaissance Dam announced that it would meet on Tuesday and submit its report to the ministerial meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Ethiopia is building a $5 billion dam near the border with Sudan it says will provide the country with much-needed electricity and economic regeneration. Egypt believes it will restrict its access to Nile waters.

Egypt is almost entirely dependent on Nile water, receiving around 55.5 million cubic metres a year from the river, and believes that filling the dam will affect the water it needs for drinking, agriculture and electricity.

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee Egypt will receive 40 billion cubic metres or more of water from the Nile. Ethiopian Irrigation Minister Seleshi Bekele said Egypt has abandoned this demand, but Egypt insists it hasn’t and issued a statement to this effect.

There is also an unresolved issue over how fast the dam will be filled, with Egypt fearing if it is filled too quickly, it could affect the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam.