Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum – press photo
CAIRO –20 July 2018: Egypt and Sudan share deep historic relation, but there has been a significant development in relations since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to office, Bassam Rady, spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency, said on Friday.
In an interview with state-owned media, he added that there are many joint committees in different fields between Egypt and Sudan, including foreign affairs, Nile water, trade and industry. There is also a higher committee whose presidency has been upgraded to heads of states, of which the first round was held in October 2016, and the next round will be in October this year.
"I think Egypt and Sudan have reached unprecedented level of bilateral coordination, even between Egypt and any other country," he said, pointing out that the next phase will see the activation of these efforts. "
Sisi began a two-day visit to Sudan on Thursday, during which he sat with Al-Bashir to discuss bilateral ties. It is Sisi’s first visit to Khartoum since being re-elected to a second presidential term earlier this year.
During a joint press conference, Sisi backed an ongoing regional bid to resolve the conflict in South Sudan as he praised Khartoum for hosting peace talks between the country's warring groups.
Sisi said the peace talks in the Sudanese capital were aimed at achieving peace and stability in neighbouring South Sudan, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since a brutal civil war erupted in December 2013.
"To South Sudan, I want to say that we will work together with our brothers in the region for achieving peace so that South Sudanese people enjoy stability and prosperity," said Sisi in remarks broadcast on state TV after holding talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
"These efforts ... have a clear vision when it comes to security, stability and development of regional countries," added Sisi, on his first visit to Khartoum since being re-elected to a second presidential term earlier this year.
The war in South Sudan began at the end of 2013 after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, now rebel leader, Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
Khartoum, as part of regional efforts to end the conflict in South Sudan, has already hosted peace talks between the arch-foes.
Hours before Sisi's remarks, Khartoum announced a delay to a "preliminary" power-sharing deal between Kiir and Machar - due to be signed on Thursday - as the warring factions had disagreements over the draft.
Although the sides had agreed to a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of their forces from urban areas, Sudan's Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed said the parties wanted to include changes to the final power-sharing deal.