Last Tuesday witnessed a bolstering of the strategic ties between Egypt and Sudan with the signing of a military cooperation deal.
The cooperation agreement has come at a time of absolute importance for the two sides, especially amid ongoing regional and international developments that have been besieging the Middle East, with threats extending from Libya, to Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, and the Gulf region, as well as Syria and Iraq.
To add to the risks and threats engulfing the region, Africa has also been witnessing a drastic escalation of terrorist attacks in the Sahel region, in addition to Nigeria and Congo.
Such challenges call for more cooperation and coordination among Africans and Egyptians.
The Sudanese have such deep and historical ties that brought them to the forefront of responding to such challenges.
The military cooperation deal is not only about security but extends to trade and the development of rail roads, and land and river transports, which will connect Egypt with Chad via Sudan.
Egypt also has another land road project connecting the northern part of the African continent in Egypt with its southern part in South Africa that will also go through Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, thus enhancing economic cooperation among African nations and will certainly promote trade exchange as well as joint ventures.
However, despite the fact that the military and security deal is not meant to be against anyone, it is meant to be a deterrent to safeguard the stability and security of the two countries.
As the two states look forward to protecting their legal rights and their territories, it is clear that the security deal is primarily targeting those who may wish to destabilise or hamper the ongoing development process. It is a pre-emptive move that prevents any acts of aggression.
The military deal reflects the importance of cooperation between the two downstream countries of the Nile whose rights have been violated with the establishment of Ethiopia’s GERD.
The two countries have shown their good intentions in favour of the Ethiopian people who have the right to develop their country, however, that should not lead to millions of victims of draught and starvation in Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopia has the right to generate electricity for its development, but it has no right to violate the internationally recognised interests of Egypt and Sudan, nor to violate their sovereignty over their territories.
The military and security deal between Egypt and Sudan ushered in a new phase of cooperation and set an example of coordination that should be considered by other parties in the continent as a tool for a better and safer continent.
It will open the gates for more friendly states to join Sudan and Egypt in their endeavor to secure their mutual interests instead of creating crises and inflaming conflicts where everyone will lose dearly.
I have noticed lately that there have been shuttle visits between the two capitals of Egypt and Sudan, where discussions on promoting mutual cooperation came at the top of officials’ agendas.
Coordinating the two countries’ efforts, as far as their foreign policies are concerned, brought to the limelight the fact that the two countries have been the voice of peace and security, and their coordination will certainly limit foreign intervention in the continent’s affairs.
The recent statements made by Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry were a clear and decisive message against any territorial aggression and the absolute urgency to respect states’ sovereignty over their territories, be it in Iraq, Syria, or Sudan.
That message should be a unifying goal for the whole region to put an end to regional and international intervention which brought northing over the past few years but more blood and destruction.
Therefore, the priority of the cooperation deal between Egypt and Sudan firmly stands against attempts to drag the area into bloody conflicts or wars that will waste the countries’ resources and spread destruction.
The best way to avoid such calamities is to enhance the two countries military edge, which will in turn secure their economic development.
For years now, this region has been through a long and bitter nightmare of conflicts that devastated most of the Middle East’s states, and terrorists found a fertile land where destruction and annihilation have become the norm.
There have also been many rogue states that embraced and financed terrorist groups all over the area to spread chaos and hemorrhage the region’s resources.
However, we should learn this lesson by heart and ensure that the strategic cooperation between Egypt and Sudan establishes an unprecedented phase where peoples’ interests and safety, as well as their aspiration for a better future could always be at the forefront.
The strong political will to defy foreign intervention, count on the fair basis of win-win deals, respect for other peoples’ rights, and reject attempts to promote conflicts that harm the peoples’ right for stability and development, all these principles should top the agenda of all politicians in the Middle East and Africa.