Egypt’s president arrives in Sudan for summit, talks

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Mar 2021

Sisi arrived on Saturday noon in the Sudanese capital

Sisi and Al-Burhan
A still photo of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Head of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan during the official reception ceremony at the presidential palace in Khartoum on Saturday

The head of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan received Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the presidential palace in Khartoum on Saturday.

This is the first time El-Sisi visits Sudan following the formation of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council in August 2019.

El-Sisi and Al-Burhan last meeting was held in Cairo last December when the Egyptian president affirmed Cairo's support for the political leadership in Sudan in “shaping their country’s future”, welcoming all efforts aiming to aid Sudan in facing its economic crisis, and towards accomplishing regional stability and peace.

El-Sisi's visit is meant to affirm Egypt’s support of Sudan at this critical juncture, a statement by the Egyptian presidency said earlier on Saturday.

It is also part of efforts to coordinate visions and stances on various issues of common interest.

Scheduled during the visit are an Egyptian-Sudanese summit and meetings with senior Sudanese leaders and officials, the presidential statement noted.

The meetings will see discussions over means to cooperate and boost bilateral relations on the military, security, and economic levels, as well as talks about regional and continental developments, such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, security in the Red Sea, and Sudan’s borders, the presidential statement added.

El-Sisi's current visit to Khartoum comes against the backdrop of various high-level meetings between Egypt and Sudan that have been held in recent weeks.

Last week, Cairo and Khartoum signed a military cooperation agreement on the sidelines of Egypt's Army Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid to Sudan. Farid and his Sudanese counterpart stressed that the military cooperation agreement was set to strengthen cooperation in security issues and preserve the national security of both countries.

In November, Egypt and Sudan conducted ‘Nile Eagles 1’ air forces' drill for the first time, which took place in one of the Sudanese air bases and involved the Egyptian special forces ‘Thunderbolt’.

Today's visit also comes less than a week after the reception of Mariam Sadek Al-Mahdi, Sudan’s newly appointed minister of foreign affairs, in Cairo.

During her visit, Al-Mahdi and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for international mediation to facilitate a legally binding agreement with Ethiopia ahead of the second filling of the GERD, planned by Addis Ababa next Summer.

Both foreign ministers warned that the water security of Egypt and Sudan "will be in danger if Ethiopia goes on with the second filling of the GERD" without reaching a legally binding agreement.

The last round of GERD negotiations, mediated by South Africa, the former president of the AU, stalled in January due to Khartoum's withdrawal from the latest meetings in objection to the methodology upon which the talks had been held.

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