Egypt president el-Sissi visits Sudan amid rapprochement

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president arrived in Sudan on Saturday, his first go to to the nation since a well-liked rebellion led to the army’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi landed at Khartoum worldwide airport and headed to a gathering with Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council, on the presidential palace. There, they inspected a army guard of honor. El-Sissi additionally met with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The Egyptian chief was scheduled to debate with Sudanese officers an array of points, together with financial and army ties and the 2 nations’ dispute with Ethiopia over an enormous dam it’s constructing on the Blue Nile, Egypt’s presidency stated in a press release previous to the go to.

El-Sissi additionally was anticipated to debate Sudan’s border dispute with Ethiopia and safety within the Crimson Sea area, which has change into a theater of rising competitors amongst world and regional powers in recent times, the assertion stated. Each Sudan and Egypt are members of a newly established Crimson Sea discussion board, together with six different African and Asian nations.

The go to got here amid a rapprochement between the 2 governments. Egypt has in recent times sought to rebuild ties with its southern neighbor, an effort that has intensified since al-Bashir’s ouster in April 2019. Prime civilian and army officers from each nations have exchanged common visits. The international locations signed an settlement final week to strengthen their army cooperation.

“Now we have been going through widespread regional threats, and we now have to work collectively to face these threats on all fronts,” Egypt’s Chief of Employees Mohamed Farid stated whereas visiting Khartoum final week.

Throughout al-Bashir’s period, relations between Sudan and Egypt suffered from sporadic tensions. These included the revival of a longstanding dispute over a border territory, the Halayeb Triangle, which is held by Egypt and claimed by Sudan.

Regardless of decade-long negotiations, the 2 international locations have repeatedly failed to succeed in a three-party cope with Ethiopia over its huge dam.

Cairo and Khartoum have lately referred to as for internationalizing the dispute to incorporate the U.S., the European Union, the U.N. and the African Union to facilitate reaching a deal on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.

In a telephone name Friday with Egypt’s Overseas Minister Sameh Shukry, U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres stated the world physique was able to “help and take part” in AU-led negotiations to resolve the dam dispute.

Sudan has criticized Ethiopia’s plans to begin a second filling of the dam’s huge reservoir through the subsequent wet season. A minimum of 20 million Sudanese, greater than half the nation’s inhabitants, might be affected if Ethiopia fills and operates the dam with out coordinating with Sudan, the federal government in Khartoum has stated. Sudanese may endure each from flooding and fewer entry to ingesting water as a result of Sudan’s personal dams can be affected, it says.

Sudan needs Ethiopia to coordinate and share information on the dam’s operation to keep away from flooding and defend its personal power-generating dams on the Blue Nile, the principle tributary of the Nile River. The Blue Nile meets with the White Nile in central Sudan. From there, the Nile winds northward via Egypt and flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation with over 100 million individuals, has referred to as the dam an existential risk and worries that it will scale back its share of Nile waters. The nation depends virtually fully on the Nile to provide water for agriculture and its individuals.

About 85% of the Nile’s circulation originates from Ethiopia. Ethiopian officers hope the dam, now greater than three-quarters full, will attain full power-generating capability in 2023, serving to pull hundreds of thousands of its individuals out of poverty.

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