File Photo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AP)
Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry is set to start an African tour on Monday, where he will fly to South Sudan and Kenya in a visit that aims to boost bilateral cooperation and discuss a number of regional matters, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.
In South Sudan, Shoukry and the country’s President Silva Kiir will sign a bilateral political consultation mechanism memo. Shoukry will also meet with several top South Sudanese officials, including Kiir's presidential advisor Nhial Deng, and will engage in talks with the national dialogue committee, which Egypt is keen on supporting.
Last November, Egypt sponsored the signing of a declaration of unification between two factions of the South Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) at the headquarters of Egypt's intelligence agency headquarters in Cairo. The document stipulates supporting peace efforts to end the dispute between the rival factions and the return of refugees displaced by conflict.
The meeting with the South Sudanese officials comes weeks after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi expressed in a meeting with Ding in Cairo Egypt's willingness to exert efforts to help maintain safety and stability in the brotherly country. El-Sisi also reaffirmed Cairo's commitment to offering assistance to development efforts in South Sudan.
Shoukry will also deliver a shipment of logistical aid from the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD).
The EAPD was established at the 23rd African Union Summit in June 2014 with the aim of supporting Africa’s development aspirations through the provision of capacity-building assistance; the transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise; and the promotion of creative industries.
Foreign ministry spokesman Abu Zeid highlighted in a statement Egypt's strategy in supporting development efforts in South Sudan through a number of projects in the fields of electricity, education, irrigation and health.
Shoukry will also follow up on the implementation of a number of cooperation projects, including establishing fish farms, the inauguration of an Egyptian cultural centre in Juba, and new projects and cooperation programmes to support the South Sudanese people.
The Egyptian FM will then head to Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where he will meet with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and deliver a message from President El-Sisi on boosting cooperation and enhancing relations between the two countries.
Abu Zeid said that the visit to Kenya "holds special importance in light of the historical relations between the two countries and Egypt's keenness to support development in Kenya".
He also highlighted efforts by the EAPD in providing medical aid to Kenya, as well as training 160 Kenyan interns in 90 courses in different fields.
In 2017, President El-Sisi met with President Kenyatta in Cairo, where they discussed boosting relations and intensifying efforts to restore stability in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.