Sudanese ambassador expected to return to Cairo soon

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Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi [R] and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi [R] and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir
Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt will return to Cairo soon, the Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Thursday after meeting his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Ghandour and Sudan’s intelligence chief Mohamed Atta Al-Mawla Abbas arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

“The dialogue between Egypt and Sudan is [a first step] towards [the ambassador’s] return,” Ghandour said.

Sudan recalled its ambassador to Egypt in January for consultations without citing an official reason or revealing when he might return.

The two countries have had strained relations for months, with Khartoum claiming sovereignty over Egypt’s southern Halayeb Triangle region. Sudan’s position regarding the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) also contributed to the fallout.

Ghandour revealed that he and Egyptian officials agreed to hold a ministerial summit in Khartoum soon to discuss the dam issue. The meeting will include the two countries’ ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation, as well as the intelligence chiefs from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia hopes the dam will make it Africa’s biggest electricity exporter, but Cairo is concerned that its construction will cut Egypt’s main water source, the Nile River.

Addis Ababa however says the dam will not affect Egypt’s water use.

Egyptian FM Shoukry read a joint statement by the Egyptian and Sudanese officials, saying that they would hold meetings periodically to discuss coordination between the two countries.

The statement added that the officials will prepare for a meeting of the Sudanese-Egyptian Joint Committee headed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum later this year.

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