FILE PHOTO - Foreign Minister of Sudan Ibrahim Ghandour (L) and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) ( AA - Mohamed el Raai )
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
The foreign ministers of Egypt and Sudan and the heads of the two countries’ intelligence bodies will meet in Cairo on Thursday to discuss a solution to recent disputes, including the Halayeb Triangle.
Relations between Cairo and Khartoum have witnessed unprecedented tension over the past months, mainly due to a row over the Halayeb-Shalateen-Abu Ramad Triangle and conflicting stances towards Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam. Sudan has also accused Cairo of supporting rebels opposed to President Omar al-Bashir.
After weeks of escalating media exchanges between the two countries, Sudan summoned Ambassador Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim on January 4, while Egypt accused regional countries of seeking to strain relations between the two countries.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said the Egyptian and Sudanese Foreign Ministers and heads of intelligence services of the two countries would meet on Thursday in Cairo to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour landed in Cairo on Wednesday for a two-day official visit, accompanied by a delegation from the Sudanese security and intelligence apparatus.
In a statement, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said the meeting “takes place under the directives of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and President Omar al-Bashir after their last meeting on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa”.
He pointed out that the two leaders agreed “to establish a quadripartite consultation mechanism between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the intelligence services of both states in order to promote solidarity and cooperation between the two brotherly countries”.
“The meeting will include bilateral talks at the level of foreign ministers, as well as between the heads of the two intelligence services,” Abu Zeid said, adding that quadripartite talks would be followed by a press conference by the two foreign ministers.
The dispute over the Halayeb triangle, controlled by Egypt since 1995, is one of the main reasons for tensions in the relations between the two countries.
While Khartoum calls for immediate recourse to arbitration and resolution of the crisis in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, Cairo refuses to resort to international arbitration, and claims sovereignty over the region.