Egypt is in direct communication with both parties of conflict in Sudan: Shoukry to CNN

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Apr 2023

Egypt has been in direct communication with both parties to the conflict in Sudan and is encouraging them to cease hostilities and return to dialogue, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in an exclusive interview with CNN earlier on Tuesday.



In exclusive statements to CNN’s Christina Macfarlane, Shoukry stated that Egypt has been in contact around the hour with both parties to the conflict in Sudan to achieve a ceasefire.

“We hope that the 24-hour ceasefire between the two sides will hold and will open further doors of communication that can lead to renewed peaceful dialogue to resolve the situation,” Shoukry, who was speaking from Cairo via videoconference, said hours before the ceasefire came into effect in Khartoum.

The ceasefire went into effect on Tuesday at six PM Khartoum local time.

He was then asked whether the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are sceptical of Egypt’s involvement due to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s alleged support of the Sudanese Armed Forces.

In response, Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s impartiality and historical relations with Sudan's various political factions.

“I think the president was very clear yesterday when he made the statement about the nature of this conflict, which is an internal one, thereby we maintain impartiality and total commitment to the best conditions for the Sudanese people,” stated the foreign minister.  

Shoukry was referring to the Egyptian President’s statement on Monday during his meeting with the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in Cairo.

“The escalating violence and its impact on military and civilian casualties are of great concern to us. But, again, the best interests of Sudan and its population drive us, and we continue to do so to the best of our abilities,” he said.

The host then asked the foreign minister whether Egypt was in contact with the RSF and whether the RSF was receptive to such communication.

Shoukry responded by saying that Egypt is communicating with all who influence this issue, whether the Sudanese army or the RSF, adding that Egypt hopes both parties take heed of its appeals for calm and restraint and the cessation of hostilities.

He was then asked about the situation on the ground in Sudan and whether any of the parties to the conflict had the upper hand.

In response, Shoukry said this was an issue for the military to evaluate, adding that they were monitoring to the best of their abilities within a degree of fluidity and conflicting reports.   

“What we highlight is the importance of a ceasefire and maintaining the best interests of the Sudanese people, avoiding further casualties and opening a dialogue for a peaceful settlement of this dispute and again indicating its internal nature and the need for all foreign interest and influence to restrain itself and not to aggravate the situation further”, he said.

The foreign minister added that the statements issued by various members of the international community and by the Secretary General of the UN have all indicated the importance that the international community takes steps to encourage restraint and avoid any escalation of the situation.

During the interview, Shoukry reaffirmed that this stage focuses on peaceful dialogue to end the conflict. He added that Egypt was currently in communication with various neighbouring countries, the United States, the EU, and all those who can play an active role in communicating the importance of reaching a peaceful solution to this crisis.

Macfarlane then asked him about the Egyptian soldiers currently held in Sudan’s Merowe by the RSF. In response, the foreign minister said that he refrained from “particulars”, adding that Egypt is communicating to ensure the safety of those soldiers.

Shoukry added that Egypt has many active participants in various aspects of life in Sudan, whether in education, irrigation, or agriculture.

“We are thus carefully monitoring the situation and its impact on all Egyptian citizens in Sudanese territories,” he stated.

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