Sisi, Sudanese Intelligence chief talk bilateral ties

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Mon, 04 Jun 2018 - 06:07 GMT

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi meets with Sudanese Intelligence Chief Sudan’s intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh- Press photo

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi meets with Sudanese Intelligence Chief Sudan’s intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh- Press photo

CAIRO - 4 June 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Sudanese Intelligence Chief Salah Abdallah Gosh on Sunday at the Egyptian Presidential Palace in Cairo, said Egyptian Presidential spokesperson, Bassam Radi.

Gosh extended Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s congratulations on Sisi’s second term in presidency, which has officially started on Saturday June 2.

Both sides discussed the bilateral relations and regional issues of mutual concern, Radi said, adding that President Sisi extended his wishes of success to the Sudanese people.

Egyptian-Sudanese bilateral relations witnessed a breakthrough a few months ago.

The two Nile River neighbors, Egypt and Sudan, have common historical, linguistic and religious bonds. But, diplomatic relations have been frosty over the past years due to various reasons.

In March, Sisi received Sudanese President Bashir where they both discussed the most important issues of mutual interest, based on the agreement reached at the recent Addis Ababa tripartite summit.

Egyptian relations with Sudan were recently strained over the border area of Halaib and Shalatin. On December 23, 2017, Sudan filed a complaint to the United Nations Secretariat to protest a maritime border demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as the deal denotes the territory as Egyptian on maps.

Halaib and Shalateen, or the Halaib Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers, located at the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns – Halaib (which became a city in February 2014), Abu Ramad and Shalateen.

The area belongs to Egypt politically and administratively, but has been one of the major sticking points in Egyptian-Sudanese relations since the demarcation of borders between the two countries were carried out during the British occupation of Egypt in 1899, at a time when Sudan was part of the Egyptian Kingdom.

The two countries, along with Ethiopia, are holding regular meetings and discussions on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

In 2011, Ethiopia started the construction of the 6,000-megawatt Renaissance Dam over the Blue Nile River, one of the major sources of water that forms the Nile River downstream. Concerns have risen in Cairo and Khartoum over the negative impact the Ethiopian dam will have on their historic Nile water share, amounting to 55.5 billion cubic meters in Egypt only, in accordance with the historic 1959 agreement with Sudan.

Since 2014, the three countries (Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia) have held several tripartite meetings and agreed on the Declaration of Principles. However, the difference between the countries relates to the filling and operation of the dam; Egypt demands that this period be seven to ten years, while Ethiopia insists on a maximum of three years.

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