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Sudan renews claim of 'sovereign rights' over Egypt's Halayeb and Shalateen

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 May 2016
Sudan FM Ibrahim Ghandour
File Photo: Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo: AFP)
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Sudan reiterated its claim on Monday that it had "sovereign rights" over the disputed Halayeb and Shalateen region along Egypt's southern border.

The Halayeb Triangle, which comprises three cities under Egyptian control, has been a source of tension between the two countries since Sudan gained independence from joint British-Egyptian rule in 1956, with rows occurring at times over the right to manage the region's petroleum resources.

"We will not let go of our sovereign rights to the Halayeb Triangle," Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told the parliament of Sudan on Monday.

The renewal of sovereignty claims over the region by Sudan comes following an Egyptian-Saudi agreement signed in April where Egypt recognised Saudi sovereignty over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

The deal, which has been met with criticism and has sparked several protests throughout Egypt, was approved by the Saudi cabinet and the Saudi Shura Council in the past weeks.

The agreement is still pending approval by the Egyptian parliament.

Ghandour said that Sudan is planning to get a copy of the deal in order to "gauge the impact of the agreement on [Sudan's] maritime borders."

"We have adopted legal and political measures to assert our rights to the Halayeb Triangle," he said, without giving further details.

The Egyptian foreign ministry was not available for comment on Sudan's most recent statement, though Egypt did say following the Cairo-Riyadh deal that the Halayeb and Shalateen situation was "totally different" than that of the Red Sea islands.

The Information and Decision Support Centre, an Egyptian cabinet think tank, has said that while the Red Sea islands were rightfully Saudi under Egyptian control, Halayeb and Shalateen, which were once under Sudanese control, are rightfully Egyptian.

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