Tags: ML | Egypt | Sudan

Sudan Minister in Egypt on Visit That May Defuse Tensions

Saturday, 03 June 2017 08:21 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan's foreign minister was in Egypt on Saturday for a visit that could potentially be a prelude to defusing tensions between the two Afro-Arab neighbors over a longtime border dispute.

Ibrahim Ghandour arrived in Cairo late Friday and was scheduled to meet with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi later Saturday. He and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry will address a joint news conference after talks.

Egypt and Sudan are Nile basin countries which, combined, stretch from the Mediterranean coast all the way south to east Africa. Their relations have recently soured after Khartoum renewed its claim to an Egyptian-held border territory, and saying that Cairo was supporting rebels in the restive Darfur region. Egypt has indignantly rejected the charge.

Sudan first submitted a complaint against Egypt over the territory to the U.N. Security Council in 1958, claiming sovereignty over the territory. It has since renewed the complaint annually. Egypt refuses to submit the dispute, which dates back to colonial times, to international arbitration.

Egypt is keen to mend ties with its southern neighbor at a time when it is anxious about the impact on its vital share of the Nile waters by the ongoing construction of a giant dam in Ethiopia. Negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia over the dam, particularly the timeline for filling the proposed lake behind it, have made little progress.

In contrast, Sudan and Ethiopia have grown closer in recent months, with Khartoum looking to benefit from the power to be generated from the dam's hydroelectric power station.

The Ethiopian highlands are the source of the Blue Nile, the waterway's primary tributary, accounting for 80 percent of the river's volume. It meets the White Nile in a Khartoum suburb and flows downstream to Egypt.

The tense, Khartoum-Cairo relations have fed hostile media campaigns in both countries, with the Egyptian press harshly mocking Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, who is on the International Criminal Court's wanted list for committing crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

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Sudan's foreign minister was in Egypt on Saturday for a visit that could potentially be a prelude to defusing tensions between the two Afro-Arab neighbors over a longtime border dispute.Ibrahim Ghandour arrived in Cairo late Friday and was scheduled to meet with President...
ML,Egypt,Sudan
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2017-21-03
Saturday, 03 June 2017 08:21 AM
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