Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry – press photo
CAIRO – 13 March 2018: Egypt seeks to increase its “development projects” in South Sudan, with which it has many mutual interests, during Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Juba.
Shoukry’s visit to Juba, part of his African tour that also includes Kenya, may tackle an Egypt-proposed project of linking Victoria Lake with the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told Egypt Today on Monday.
“It may be [tackled]. But not necessarily,” Abu Zeid said.
South Sudan and Kenya are among the countries of Nile Basin; it has been agreed that Egypt will conduct a feasibility study on the navigation link between Victoria Lake and the Mediterranean Sea in 2013 to serve the basin countries.
In his visit to Jube, Shoukry has met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Monday, handing him a message from President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, assuring Cairo’s keenness to enhance cooperation with Juba, according to a statement from Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
In their meeting, Shoukry discussed his country’s efforts in the South Sudan’s National Dialogue Steering Committee (NDSC) between the Juba government and the opposition, led by former Vice-President of South Sudan and chairperson of Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) Riek Machar.
Egypt has recently held training for the committee members in Cairo on February 25-28. It, in cooperation with Uganda, hosted the discussion of Arusha Agreement on the Reunification of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, from which the SPLM-IO split.
Egypt has adopted a “comprehensive strategy” of development in South Sudan. This strategy includes building four electricity power plans, establishing a number of schools and medical clinics, providing assistance in irrigation field, establishing fishing farms, opening an Egyptian cultural center in Jube, digging a number of underground water wells, increasing the units of dialysis in Juba Hospital for two months starting from April 2018, and sending a medical convoy to the northwestern city of Wau, the statement said.
Kiir has updated Shoukry on the process of national reconciliation with the opposition, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The meeting also tackled a number of issues of mutual concern, including the controversial Renaissance Dam of Ethiopia, the latest development in Horn of Africa, and Juba’s request to join the Cairo-based Arab League, the statement added.
On March 7, diplomats from the Arab League told Egypt’s news agency MENA that South Sudan submitted an official note on Tuesday to the General Secretariat of the Arab League (AL) to join the organization.
As for Renaissance dam, 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 says the dam is necessary for its development and would not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).
They signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a mechanism for political dialogue between both countries.
Shoukry also held another meeting with the members of the NDSC, chaired by Angelo Beda, to discuss the reconciliation process; it has been agreed that the Egyptian government will send an expert to help the committee. At the end of the meeting, Egypt’s FM provided the committee with a cargo of logistic aid, including computers, printers, and photocopiers.
In a meeting with South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lomuro on Sunday, Shoukry discussed the Sudanese government's vision of the solution by increasing the number of the government members and Parliamentarians to include representatives from the opposition. Shourky also met with South Sudan's Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk.
On February 20, 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has received Mayik Aye Deng, minister of presidential affairs in South Sudan and special envoy of President Salva Kiir Mayardi in Cairo.
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