Egypt, Sudan working to unify stance on regional issues: Shoukry
March 21, 2016 — Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said Sunday that Egypt and Sudan are working to unify their stance on several regional issues, pointing to the Sudanese support of the Egyptian candidate for the position of Arab League secretary-general, Ahmed Abou El-Ghiet.
Shoukry said, in an interview with state-run MENA, that both countries are interested in continuing consultations on bilateral challenges. He added that the supreme joint committee of both countries, which will hold a meeting in Cairo soon, will launch bilateral projects and agreements.
Deputy foreign minister Osama Al-Magdoub is scheduled to visit Khartoum this week to head preparations for the joint committee meetings. Al-Magdoub will also present Egypt’s proposals regarding projects that could be carried out in coordination between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
Regarding the trilateral cooperation between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, Shoukry said he discussed water cooperation, as well as economic and trade cooperation, with Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir and his foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour.
Shoukry also discussed, with Sudanese irrigation minister Moataz Moussa, the latest developments regarding the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and the preparations for the signing of the contract for both technical offices set to prepare the technical studies about the impact of the GERD on Egypt and Sudan. Shoukry described the meeting as fruitful.
Egypt is also consulting with Sudan on efforts to restore stability in South Sudan. Shoukry highlighted the importance of enforcing a peaceful solution to reach an agreement between the warring sides.
He added that Egypt received Riek Machar, the leader of the South Sudanese rebels, in an effort to converge views between him and the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, pointing out that that turmoil in South Sudan will the affect the North.
Shoukry added that the viewpoints of Egypt and Sudan are aligned with regards to the Libyan crisis, with both countries supporting the new Libyan government of national unity.
“Libya is a major challenge for Egypt and Sudan,” Shoukry said. Egypt is looking forward to the formation of the new unity government, which should work to satisfy the needs of the Libyan people, Shoukry continued.
Representatives of Libya’s neighbouring countries are scheduled to hold a meeting in Tunisia Tuesday.