Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delivers a speech before Parliament – Press photo
CAIRO – 17 July 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will embark on a two-day visit to Sudan starting Thursday, in his first visit to the country since he was re-elected for president last March, Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim, said.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Abdel Halim said that the visit reflects the special relations between the two countries and their peoples, affirming that this visit will be added to the series of meetings held between the two presidents.
The Sudanese ambassador said that the Sudanese-Egyptian summit will review the efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries in various realms. He added that the two presidents will also review the outcome of the recent bilateral cooperation meetings.
Sudanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Ahmed Bilal Othman described the relation between the two countries as “holly,” and "at its best" as the communication channel is open between Egyptian President Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart, Bashir.
Bashir visited Cairo on March 19 where both leaders discussed the outstanding issues of mutual interest, based on the agreement reached at the recent Addis Ababa tripartite summit.
It has been agreed to “continue implementing the outcomes of the Addis Ababa-held Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian tripartite summit on the Renaissance Dam to carry out the Declaration of the Renaissance Dam Principles Charter that was signed on March 23, 2015 in Khartoum,” said President Sisi in a joint press conference with Bashir.
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 sees the dam is necessary for its development and would not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).
On the bilateral level, President Sisi emphasized during the conference that his country is keen to “maintain the national security of both countries.”
It has been agreed to “activate…and enhance” the Higher Joint Committee, the Consular Committee, the Military Committee, the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation and the Joint Borders Committee, Sisi added.
The abovementioned joint committees will annually convene their meetings to “secure and enhance both countries’ interests,” Sisi continued.
Both leaders also tackled certain projects concerning energy, electricity, infrastructure, and cooperation in air, ground and maritime transportations.
Also, it has been agreed that Sisi and Bashir will hold their next annual meeting in Khartoum, said Egyptian presidency spokesperson Radi in a statement following the press conference.
Radi added that both presidents discussed the latest positive developments after easing the strained relations following the quartet meeting.
Egypt’s relations with Sudan were recently strained over the disputed border area of Halaib and Shalateen. On December 23, 2017, Sudan filed a complaint to the United Nations Secretariat to protest a maritime border demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as the deal denotes the territory as Egyptian on maps.
Halaib and Shalateen, or the Halaib Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers located at the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns: Halaib (which became a city in February 2014), Abu Ramad and Shalateen.