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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sudan to require visas for Egyptian men aged 18-49

Egyptian female travellers, children and men over 49 will be allowed to enter Sudan without a visa

Hadeer El-Mahdawy , Friday 7 Apr 2017
Khartoum Airport
Passengers arrive at the Khartoum airport (Reuters)
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Sudan will now require Egyptian men aged between 18 and 49 years old to apply for visas in order to enter the country, the country's ambassdor to Egypt, Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim, said on Friday.

The decision was issued on 3 April, the ambassador told Ahram Online, describing the measure as "a technical procedure among those which are regularly revised, which organise the entrance of travellers from fraternal countries to Sudan."

However, Egyptian women, children and men over 49 years old will be allowed to enter Sudan without a visa.

The visa, which can be obtained from Sudanese embassies and consulates, will be free of charge, said the ambassador.

Abdel-Halim said the visa issue was "not new" as Egypt has applied a similar measure on Sudanese men for the last fifty years.

"Male Egyptians from 18-49 already have to take permission from [Egyptian] security [officials] to travel," he said.

Egyptian citizens who wish to travel to Sudan must seek security clearance from the Egyptian government, under rules imposed recently that have mandated similar measures for Egyptians looking to travel to a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The spokesman of Egypt's foreign ministry was not available for an immediate comment.

Recent media spats

Last month, several media outlets in Egypt and Sudan engaged in a sparring match after Sudan’s media minister was reported as saying that his country's civilisation is "older than" that of Egypt.

Media figures have also argued over the Halayeb Triangle border region, which comprises three cities and currently falls under Egyptian authority.

The area has been a source of tension for decades, with rows reoccurring over which country has the right to manage the area's natural resources.

The two countries' foreign ministers stated in March after the recent media spat that they reject "unacceptable transgressions" that could drive a wedge between the two countries.

In 2004, Egypt and Sudan signed the Four Freedoms Agreement, which in theory allows Egyptians and Sudanese citizens to freely move across the border separating the two states, and the rights to reside, work and own property in either country without a permit. 

Several Sudanese officials have asked Egypt over the past years to fully implement the agreement provisions, according to Sudanese media reports.

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