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SudanTribune.com: Egypt, Sudan agree on measures to restore relations

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Friday, 09 February 2018

Egypt, Sudan agree on measures to restore relations


Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry and Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour speak to the media in Khartoum on 20 April 2017 (ST Photo)
February 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and Egypt have agreed on a package of measures to be implemented over the next few months to addressing outstanding issues and restore confidence between the two neighbouring countries.

The foreign ministers of the two countries, Ibrahim Ghandour and Sameh Shoukry held a meeting on Sunday in Cairo with the participation of the head of intelligence services Abbas Kamel of Egypt and Sudan’s Mohamed Atta to discuss tensions between the two countries after Khartoum’s decision to recall its ambassador on 5 January.

The government-controlled media in Egypt carried out an unprecedented hostile media campaign against Sudan and its president Omer al-Bashir after a visit to Sudan of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Also, in January Sudan accused Egypt and Eritrea of backing armed opposition groups.

In a joint statement issued after the tripartite meeting, the two countries announced a number of technical decisions to restore bilateral relations including the ban of hostile media campaigns and to enhance security and military cooperation between the two countries.

On the dispute over the Nile water, the statement referred to the commitment of both sides to the 1959 bilateral agreement and tripartite declaration of principle on the resolution of the dispute over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in signed in Khartoum on 23 March 2015.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Shoukry said the meeting contributed to remove misunderstandings and to develop a roadmap to restore the relationship in line with the aspirations and guidance of the two countries’ leaders.

He called on the Egyptian and Sudanese media to be objective and not to offend the peoples and leaders of the two countries.

For his part, Ghandour announced that the meeting set up a mechanism to solve on the outstanding issues, also he said the media in the two countries has to observe the sanctity of relations between the two countries in the future.

When asked about an agreement to establish a Turkish naval base in Suakin on the Red Sea Ghandour said there were no foreigners in the small town pointing there are 400 houses inhabited by Sudanese nationals.

Also, "there was no talk about a Turkish military base in the city or elsewhere in any place in Sudan, but the Turkish President offered to restore and rebuild old houses and to use (Suakin) as a tourist island for mutual benefit," he disclosed.

on the Ethiopian dam, Ghandour said it was agreed to hold a meeting including nine ministers of Irrigation, foreign affairs and intelligence from the three countries in Khartoum next March.

Cairo meeting was decided last month after an encounter between President Omer al-Bashir and Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi in Addis Ababa on 28 January.

Observers say the bilateral relations are undermined by the mistrust between the two government as Cairo believes that Khartoum supports the Egyptian Islamists overthrown by al-Sisi in 2013.

This lack of confidence complicates the solution of the dispute over border triangle of Halayeb and also pushed Sudan to foster its strategic alliance with Ethiopia.

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Sudan has deal with Russia to transform its army into deterrent force: al-Bashir


February 8, 2018 (PORT SUDAN) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir said on Thursday that his country has a programme with Russia to transform the army into a deterrent force capable of defeating any adversary.

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SAF troops march during the concluding ceremony of Northern Thunder in Saudi Arabia on March 12, 2016 (ST Photo)

Since the seventies, Sudan has developed close military ties with Russia, which is the main provider of its military arsenal, especially the Air Force.

"We have a programme with the State of Russia to develop the armed forces to be a deterrent force for anyone who wishes to (attack) the nation and its capabilities," he said.

Al-Bashir who was speaking to soldiers of the Sudanese army based in Port Sudan capital of the Red Sea State didn’t elaborate on the nature of this military programme.

During a visit to Russia last November, al-Bashir offered to President Vladimir Putin to establish a Russian base in the Red Sea. He also said in press statements during his visit that Sudan demanded a land-air defence system, frigates missile launcher, minesweeper boats, radars and missile systems.

The president stressed in his speech, Thursday, the readiness of the armed forces to protect the coast of the Red Sea and protect the security and stability of Sudan.

"We are ready for anyone who attempts to undermine our country," he said.

The president further praised the armed forces and its role to preserve the integrity of the country.

"We are not fighting for war and we are not attacking anyone, but whoever someone fights us will defend our land," he said, adding " there is a conspiracy against Sudan."

Al-Bashir, also, pointed to the adoption by the government of a three-axis programme for the development of the army, the formation and training of its members, and improving their living conditions.

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