FILE- Sudanese ambassador to Egypt Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim
CAIRO - 9 March 2018: Sudan and Egypt have agreed to work closely towards bilateral relations, said the newly returned Sudanese ambassador to Egypt Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim on Thursday.
During his first meeting with media delegates after returning from Khartoum, Abdel Halim affirmed that the two states are committed to resolve the challenges they are facing as per the results both sides agreed during the Quartet committee meetings, which includes the two states’ foreign ministers and chiefs of intelligence service.
“We are keen to improve and enhance the relations between our countries, as the coming generations of both states believe in mutual interest and transparency,” Abdel Halim told the media representatives, affirming that the concerns of the two countries are mostly diplomatic and political issues.
A joint committee for border surveillance and banned smuggling was suggested, according to the Sudanese ambassador.
Abdel Halim confirmed that a joint charter of honor between the two states will be inked to come into force soon; however, “it won’t make any difference if the media organizations didn’t commit to it,” he said.
“Egypt has several concerns,” Abdel Halim continued, adding that his country will not host or welcome anyone who would target Egypt's stability.
The Sudanese ambassador has just returned to Cairo to resume his work, after being summoned by his state’s foreign ministry on January 4 ‘for consultation’, without mentioning any further details.
Sudan claims that it has sovereignty over the Halayeb and Shalateen triangle, which is located within Egyptian territories. Halayeb and Shalateen, or the Halayeb Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers located on the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns.
The area belongs to Egypt politically and administratively. However, it has been one of the major points of conflict in Egyptian-Sudanese relations since the demarcation of borders between the two countries carried out during the British occupation of Egypt in 1899, a time when Sudan and Egypt were one country.
Recently, bilateral relations were aggravated due the controversial Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Sudanese media claimed that Egypt sought to exclude Sudan from the tripartite talks with Ethiopia. On January 8, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that Egypt did not ask Ethiopia to exclude Sudan from negotiations.
Egypt has voiced its concern over Ethiopia’s dam construction, as it would affect Egypt’s 55 billion cubic meter share of the Nile water. However, Addis Ababa affirms that the dam is necessary for Ethiopia’s development and would not negatively affect downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.