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Egypt's foreign minister to visit Khartoum Thursday for bilateral committee talks

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Apr 2017
Egypt FM Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to travel to Khartoum on Thursday to attend a meeting of the Egyptian-Sudanese political consultation committee meetings, amid reports hinting at tensions between the neighbouring countries.

Shoukry's travel plans come a week after an earlier visit was postponed due to bad weather.

On April 8, Egypt's foreign ministry rubbished reports that the delay came due to rising tensions, saying that sandstorms in Khartoum were the reason behind the postponement.

Last month, comments about the relative age of the two nations' civilizations by a Sudanese minister sparked a bilateral media spat, while last week Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour publicly requested Egypt explain why its representative at the UN had voted in favour of maintaining sanctions on Sudan.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid denied the claims, saying in a statement on his Facebook page that Egypt always "adopts supportive positions for the benefit of the Sudanese people."

In addition, last week the Sudanese government implemented a new measure requiring Egyptian travellers to obtain a visa prior to travel, a move Ghandour said had been taken in consultation with Egypt and was aimed at preventing terrorism.

In statements to the press on Tuesday, Sudan's ambassador to Egypt, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel-Halim, said there was a warm welcome in Khartoum for Shoukry's visit, describing it as an excellent opportunity to discuss all issues between Egypt and Sudan.

"The visit will contribute in resolving recent strife between the two countries," Abdel-Halim said.

The political consultation committee is a sub-committee of the Egyptian-Sudanese high committee, which also includes sub-committees for military affairs, security, economics and finance, transportation, education, culture, health, water resources and agriculture.

The committee, which will include Ghandour, will discuss the execution of agreements signed during the high-level presidential summit between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and President Omar Al-Bashir in October last year, Abdel-Halim said.

The envoy hinted that preparations for a meeting between Al-Bashir and the Egyptian foreign minister were underway.

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