Cairo and Khartoum are holdings talks about the 101 Egyptian fishermen who are currently detained in Sudan and who were expected to be released earlier this week, an Egyptian diplomat said.
The fisherman were detained in April off the coast of Sudan and put on trial, which was adjourned on Wednesday until 28 July. An official in a provincial Egyptian fishermen's union had said on Thursday that their release was expected, but on Friday, Egypt's foreign ministry said that Sudanese authorities had backtracked on the decision to release them.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has been following the case since the fishermen's detention to assure they receive proper treatment, foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atti told MENA agency on Saturday.
The 108 Egyptian fishermen, who were bound for Eritrea aboard three boats, were arrested 7 April and detained in the coastal city of Port Sudan. However, seven of those — six minors and an elderly man — were later released.
Several Sudanese media outlets said that authorities had demanded that Egypt release 24 Sudanese miners believed to be held in Egyptian prisons in exchange for the release of the Egyptian nationals.
It is not the first time in recent years that Khartoum has arrested Egyptian fishermen for encroaching on Sudanese waters.