Russia Today apologies for Halayeb poll

Ahram Online , Saturday 12 May 2018

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Moscow-based news channel Russia Today (RT) apologised on Saturday for publishing a poll on its Arabic-language website on Friday asking users to vote on whether they believe Egypt’s southern Halayeb Triangle region is Egyptian or Sudanese.

RT removed the poll from its website shortly after receiving strong criticism.

"RT apologises for the distress caused by the poll to the Egyptian side, and wishes to clarify that the purpose was not to offend Egypt, or to cast doubt over the integrity of its territory,” RT said in its apology.

The website added that the aim of the poll was to discuss the topics of the hour with objectivity and neutrality.

The poll has been removed from RT’s Arabic website as well as its official Twitter account.

The Egyptian foreign ministry announced on Saturday that it cancelled an interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that had been scheduled with RT in Moscow.

The Egyptian State Information Service issued a statement on Friday slamming the Russian TV channel over the poll, and summoned its accredited RT correspondents in Egypt on Saturday.

Located on Egypt’s southern border with Sudan, the Halayeb Triangle has been a source of tension between the two countries since Sudan gained independence from British-Egyptian rule in 1956.

Cairo exercises complete political and administrative control over the 20,580 square-kilometre region, which comprises the cities of Halayeb, Abu Ramad and Shalateen.

The Halayeb Triangle is part of Egypt according an Anglo-Egyptian Condominium signed in 1899, which defines Egypt’s southern border as the 22nd parallel north.

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