Sisi: Egypt working with Sudan, Ethiopia regarding the Nile

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) welcoming his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the presidential palace in Cairo.

:: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told a joint press conference in Cairo, on Monday, with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, that Egypt intends to work with Sudan as well as with Ethiopia for the sake of the collective benefit of the Nile River.

Al-Sisi announced the efforts to enhance cooperation between Egypt and Sudan in various fields and activate the joint efforts between the two countries as represented in a number of bodies and committees.

Bashir stressed Sudan’s will to settle any differences between Cairo and Khartoum.

He said that Sudan is keen on the security of Egypt, referring to the historical relations between the two countries and people.

“We reiterate the eternal brotherly relations and common links that unite the two peoples of the Nile valley,” Sisi said in a televised news conference following a meeting with Bashir.

In turn, Bashir said as “Egypt is now going through an election period”, his delegation “timed our visit now to reiterate our support for Egypt’s stability and to support President Sisi.”

The Sudanese president arrived in Egypt earlier on Monday to discuss the means to strengthen relations and issues of common concern. Al-Bashir was received at Cairo airport by the Egyptian President al-Sisi.

“The Sudanese president is paying a visit to Egypt within the framework of continuing consultations between the two presidents and discussing ways to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields,” Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radhi said Sunday.

This comes a few days after the visit of Major General Abbas Kamil, the acting Egyptian intelligence chief to Sudan, and his meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and Sudanese officials to discuss all outstanding issues and resolve any differences as well as pave the way to return the relations between the two countries to the right track.

The two leaders met recently on the sidelines of the African summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and asserted Egyptian-Sudanese relations and the historical ties between the two countries.

The meeting was followed by a joint statement on efforts to achieve and promote common interests, take into account the concerns of both countries, respect internal affairs and maintain their national security.

The two presidents mentioned future cooperative steps over Nile water discussions, without providing much detail.

“We agreed to start preparing to hold the joint committee (meeting), to be chaired by the two countries’ presidents, during this year in Khartoum,” Sisi said.

Bashir responded that the two countries “don’t have any choice but to cooperate, because truthfully this is the interest and confirmed demand of our peoples.”

During the meeting, it was agreed on the importance of working towards looking for broader horizons for the cooperation between the two countries in various fields, exploring opportunities and activating the various joint committees including the consular committee, the trade committee, the border crossings committee, political consultation mechanism at the level of foreign ministers, and any other joint committees the two parties agree upon while overcoming any difficulties or challenges before those committees.

A handout picture released by the Egyptian presidency on March 19, 2018 shows Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) during his meeting with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the presidential palace in Cairo.

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