US ready to support Egypt in hosting Sudanese refugees: Blinken to Shoukry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 May 2023

During a phone call with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken thanked Egypt for receiving tens of thousands of Sudanese citizens since the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan, stressing Washington's readiness to provide necessary support for Cairo in these efforts.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken


Blinken also expressed during the call his condolences for the death of the assistant administrative attaché at the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum who was killed by gunfire in the Sudanese capital in late April, according to a statement released by Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson for the foreign ministry.

He also praised the sacrifices made by diplomats in Sudan in light of the current security issues, according to Abu Zeid.

'Guests not refugees'

Since the outbreak of the conflict in sudan in mid-April, more than 14,000 Sudanese citizens have crossed into Egypt.

They join four million Sudanese have been residing in Egypt for decades.

The number of migrants and host community members in Egypt is estimated at 9 million from 133 countries - including four million Sudanese, 1.5 million Syrians, one million Yemenis and one million Libyans, according to 2022 figures by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

In an interview on Monday with the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi described the Sudanese citizens who are living in Egypt as "guests and not refugees."

'A sustainable ceasefire'

The two officials discussed the efforts to reach "a sustainable ceasefire" to the conflict that allows humanitarian aid to reach its intended recipients in Sudan, the spokesperson said.

The US secretary further stressed the efforts made by the United States in cooperation with members of the Tripartite Mechanism (African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development and United Nations) and Quad (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

On his side, the Egyptian foreign minister addressed Egypt’s efforts within the framework of the Arab League and the African Union as well as through its contacts with regional and international actors to achieve the same goal, Abu Zeid affirmed.

Shoukry stressed the importance of non-interference of external parties in the Sudanese conflict to ensure stability of the ceasefire and spare the lives of civilians, to which the US official expressed agreement.

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