Egypt and Sudan Foreign Ministers stress importance of strengthening relations

Egypt’s Foreign inister Sameh Shoukry met his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour in Ethiopia on Friday as part of the preparatory meetings of the 30th African Summit, taking place between Jauary 22 and 29.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid declared both ministers’ were keen on having the meeting to revive and strengthen the historically-strong relationship between the countries as well as the strong bond that ties Egyptians and Sudanese people.

In a video posted by the official Egyptian Foreign Ministry Facebook page, Foreign Minister Shoukry said both ministers agreed that it is in both countries’ interests to keep their strong relations and not to be affected by any rumors or misinformation about their relationship.

They also agreed that it is the national responsibility on the media of both countries to avoid criticism towards one another, and to show respect to the leaders of both countries, said Shourkry.

As for the meeting, spokesman Abut Zeid declared both ministers discussed the “importance of abiding by the decisions of their Joint Higher Committee and its subsidiaries.”

Shoukry also described the Egyptian-Sudanese relations as “sacred,” saying the meeting “discussed the bilateral relationships in general and the next tripartite meeting about the Renaissance dam.” He added that “Egypt and Sudan have agreed to abide by the 2015 agreement which was signed in Khartoum”.

Sudanese Foerign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour echoed Shoukry’s statements to the media saying, “brothers sometimes disagree but diplomacy always works on containing any disagreements. We have agreed to work together to strengthen the relationships under the auspices of Presidents Ahmed Al-Bashir and Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.”

Finally, Shouky said a tripartite meeting with Ethiopia was underway and did not include only talks about the Renaissance Dam but about cooperation and growth prospects in the three countries.

Egypt and Sudan have been enmeshed in a dispute over who has rights on the Halayeb and Shalateen region. Sudan accuses Egypt of occupying the territory, while Egypt says it is rightfully under its sovereignty.

Tensions reached a new level when Ethiopia announced the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011. Egypt was against building the dam and so was Sudan at first. However, since, Sudan has changed its stance and is now supportive of the project.



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