Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir – Press photo
CAIRO – 17 July 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived Thursday in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in his first visit to the country since he was re-elected for president last March.
President Bashir welcomed Sisi at the airport, where the national anthems of the two countries were performed during the welcome ceremonies.
During the two-day visit, Sisi is set to meet with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, where they will discuss several issues regarding boosting bilateral relations between the two countries and cooperation on all levels, as well as tackling other African and regional issues.
The Sudanese-Egyptian summit will review the efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries in various realms, according to the Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim. 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.”
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.