18 December 2017 02:52 PM

Political Relations

Wednesday، 29 November 2017 - 12:00 AM

Egyptian-Sudanese relations are historically characterized by strong and deep bonds far beyond politics.  Egypt is keen to establish relations that promote cooperation in all fields having common goals and sharing the same destiny.

On 10/11/2017, the Joint Permanent Technical Commission for Nile Water between Egypt and Sudan concluded its first 5-day meeting at the 57th session, which was inaugurated by Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aati in Cairo on Sunday 5 November 2017.

It was agreed during the meeting on the preparation of a memorandum of understanding regarding the completion of studies on the desert encroachment over the Nile and the preparation of training courses for technical cadres of the Egyptian and Sudanese sides in various fields such as water measurement, GIS, remote sensing, international law, water diplomacy and active participation in conferences and forums on managing transboundary water resources.

It was also agreed on the continuity of the Commission to update and develop the database by taking advantage of international  programs that have an international reputation in this regard, within the context of the available historical data and establishing an information center at the headquarters of the Commission in Khartoum to include GIS units, remote sensing, and databases. The two sides agreed to convene the next meeting of the Commission in Khartoum in March 2018.

On 2/10/2016,  Sisi and Basheer headed the Joint Higher Committee, Egypt hosted the work of the Joint Higher Committee, which started its work from 2/10 to 5/10/2016. The Committee held its first session at the Presidential level after it had been held at the Ministerial  level over the past years. The Higher Committee between Egypt and Sudan is comprised from a number of sectoral committees: political, security and consular sectors headed by the ministers of foreign affairs and the military sector headed by the ministers of defense and the economic and financial sector headed by minister of trade and industry and  Sudanese minister of finance,  transport, education and culture Sector headed by the Ministers of Higher Education and the Services Sector, headed by the ministers of health, agriculture, water resources and Irrigation headed by the ministers of agriculture.

 The meeting of the Higher Committee this year coincides with Egypt's celebrations of the victorious October war. It reflects the keenness of the two sides to develop and consolidate the common interests and bilateral relations of the peoples of the Nile Valley through promoting trade relations and land linkage. The meetings were concurrent with the trial operation of the port of Arqin on September 29, 2016, which is expected to lead to a significant increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, and is considered an important addition in the framework of completing the interconnection project between African countries, "Alexandria-Cape Town," meant to enhance the smooth flow of goods from Egypt to Sudan, Ethiopia and other parts of the Continent.  In addition, these developments enhance the efforts of the trilateral cooperation between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, which was agreed upon between the leaders of the three countries in February 2016 in Sharm el-Sheikh on the sidelines of the Investment Forum in Africa.

On September 20, 2016, the technical delegations of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia finally signed contracts of technical studies of the

Ethiopian Renaissance  Dam with the two French consultants and the English Legal Office in a ceremony held at the Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan.

On 21/1/2016, the Norwegian Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan and his accompanying delegation visited Egypt to discuss the situation in Sudan and South Sudan as Norway is one of the Troika countries that sponsored the comprehensive peace agreement. He was received by Assistant Foreign Minister for Neighboring Countries Affairs, ambassador Osama Al-Majdoub. The meeting discussed the negative effects of the sanctions imposed on Sudan, represented on the deterioration  of economic situation as the public debt hit 50 billion dollars, and the negative effect on the  Sudanese society as a whole.

On 17/4/2014, Egypt and Sudan signed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, the final record of the border crossings agreement between the two countries. A clear timetable and roadmap have been agreed upon to implement the operation of border crossings, which the Egyptian ambassador described as not only operating for trade and individuals, but also for new communities to be established on these borders.

On 22/9/2014, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Karti in New York on the sidelines of his participation in the UN General Assembly. Shoukry affirmed Egypt's keenness to pursue efforts to launch the national dialogue in Sudan and follow up contacts made by the African Union mediator "Mbeki" with the opposition, which is reluctant to participate in the dialogue to encourage it otherwise. He expressed Egypt's welcome for every effort aimed at achieving national consensus in Sudan and supporting its safety and stability. The two ministers agreed to continue consultations on regional issues of mutual concern.

 With regard to the major political issues and transformations witnessed by Sudan lately, the Egyptian stance was as follows:

First: Egypt's stance towards the southern crisis:

Sudan entered a new phase in its history by signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Southern Sudan in Nairobi on January 9, 2005, known as the "Naivasha" Agreement. The peace agreement fixed a transitional period of six years, ending with a referendum on self determination for South Sudan in 2011.

Egypt pursued its serious efforts to achieve the unity of Sudan, while working on the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the South trying to solve the problems that impede its application. Egypt endeavored to achieve the Sudanese consensus, namely, to provide an opportunity for voluntary unity or peaceful separation, and to work during the transitional period up to the 2011 on achieving unity.

The Republic of South Sudan officially declared independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011, following a referendum under international supervision in January 2011.

Second: Egypt's position on the Darfur issue:

The Darfur crisis in western Sudan broke out in 2003, a crisis with ethnic and tribal roots which escalated rapidly in the following years. Several international resolutions were passed, the last of which was Resolution 1593, which referred the Darfur issue to the International Criminal Court.

Egypt considers that Darfur is part of Sudan and recognizes all as one people of the region, regardless of  those  from Arab origin or African one, as such classifications rendered the conflict seem as Arab-African one. Egypt believed that the Darfur conflict is a cross-cutting and necessitates political, developmental, social and humanitarian solutions.

 

The Egyptian leaderships expressed their readiness to coordinate and cooperate with all parties on regional and international levels to contribute to solving the Darfur problem and to preserve the unity of Sudan.

 Egypt supported the efforts of the Arab League and the African Union to settle the issue on one hand, and cooperated with the Sudanese government to resolve it on the other hand.

After the escalation of the issue and Sudan indulging in great complications, Egypt tried to present compromise to spare Sudan the confrontation with the international community, which Egypt believes will have serious consequences. This happened many times, when Sudan rejected Resolution 1706 considering it a direct intervention in its affairs, and in other stances concerning the   international sanctions imposed on Sudan and the need to give a chance for a peaceful settlement.

Egypt also opened its doors to the leaders of the armed movements in Darfur, whom it called for more than one meeting, the last of which was the Cairo meeting on July 14, 2009 to unite  the 7 Darfurian factions as an urgent necessity to enter into negotiations with the Sudanese government in a try to resolve the crisis in Darfur.

Egypt presented a triple roadmap to resolve the crisis. First: unifying the armed movements in the region. Second: working on attaining reconciliation of Sudan and Chad. Third: working to better  humanitarian and security situations in the region.

 

Meanwhile, Egypt sought to communicate with the Sudanese government since the beginning of the crisis to convince it to avoid escalation against the international community. Egypt tried to convince the Sudanese government as well to meet international demands to improve the situation in Darfur.

The Egyptian stance was not limited to political and diplomatic moves, but extended to humanitarian and medical assistance. The official , popular medical and humanitarian convoys have not ceased from the beginning of the crisis. There is a permanent Egyptian medical presence in Darfur from the Egyptian armed forces, as well as civil society organizations, in addition to the military presence, as peacekeeping forces.

 

 

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