Tuesday,18 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1396, (31 May - 6 June 2018)
Tuesday,18 June, 2019
Issue 1396, (31 May - 6 June 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Connecting with Sudan

ENHANCING bilateral relations and resolving pending issues topped the priorities of this week’s meeting between Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and his Sudanese counterpart Al-Dardiri Mohamed Ahmed.

This is Ahmed’s first Arab tour as foreign minister after he was appointed last month. He has already gone to Saudi Arabia. Ahmed and Shoukri met before during a structural reform meeting in African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa earlier this week. They held a consultative meeting on the sidelines.

On the regional level, the two officials discussed the situation in Libya, Syria and Yemen as well as enhancing coordination between the two countries in regional and international forums.

The two discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. A four-party meeting of Egyptian and Sudanese foreign ministers and heads of the intelligence is likely to be held before the third nine-party meeting scheduled for 18 and 19 June in Cairo.

Relations between Egypt and Sudan have been tense over several issues including the dispute over the border area of Halayeb as well as differences over the dam.

However, relations were expected to ease after a quadrilateral meeting held in Cairo in February. It was attended by Shoukri and Ahmed’s predecessor Ibrahim Ghandour and the heads of intelligence of the two states.

The two countries issued a joint statement at the end of their meeting back then in which they agreed on 11 points establishing a framework for cooperation, including enhancing security and military cooperation as well as agreeing on a mechanism for political and security consultation.

Before the summit, relations had reached an unprecedented low when Sudan summoned its ambassador in Cairo for consultation in early January. The ambassador returned in February.

Africa in lights

EGYPT said it is looking forward to chairing the African Union next year. On Friday Egypt marked Africa Day by lighting up the Foreign Ministry with the word “Africa”. Africa Day this year commemorates the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Africa Day, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said, represents the struggle of the people of the continent for freedom, independence, unity and development.

Abu Zeid said the anniversary “recalled the victories and sacrifices of the founding fathers and ancestors to achieve freedom and dignity in a decades-long path until Africa earned the stature it deserved in the eyes of other peoples and countries”.

Africa Day commemorates the anniversary of the founding of the OAU on 25 May 1963. The OAU became the African Union (AU) on 26 May 2001.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri took part in the AU structural reform meeting held early this week at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The meeting was part of Egypt’s endeavour to start implementing suggestions for the structural reform of the AU as well as reaching an agreement among member states regarding reform, Abu Zeid said. In January the AU summit started the process of structural reform.

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