Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said that the meeting between President Omar al-Bashir and his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Addis Ababa witnessed “honest discussions” about the political, security, social and economic aspects of the relations between the two countries.
Ghandour made his remarks at Khartoum Airport on Tuesday, upon the return of Bashir and his delegation from the Ethiopian capital, where he participated in the 30th African Union Summit.
He noted that the two presidents agreed to form a committee of foreign ministers and security and intelligence chiefs of both countries, expected to meet in Cairo within two weeks to discuss outstanding issues.
“The two presidents pointed out that the relationship between Sudan and Egypt is eternal and sacred, and must be preserved, and they directed the committee to put this relation on the right track,” the minister said.
According to Ghandour, the presidents of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to develop joint political, economic and social relations, link the countries together through railways and land road networks, establish a financial fund, in which the three countries will participate equally in the implementation of these projects, and form a tripartite security and intelligence committee to follow up on all related matters.
On the sidelines of the AU Summit, Sisi, Bashir and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met to discuss the latest developments and the dispute over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced at the end of the meeting that the leaders have agreed to complete the technical studies of the dam within one month, adding that there would be no intermediate in the negotiations process.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Ghandour said: “Despite the fact that Bashir-Sisi-Desalegn summit was not limited to the issue of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, it reached an agreement to form a technical committee of foreign ministers, heads of the intelligence services and ministers of irrigation, to provide technical studies for the presidents and the means to operate the dam without affecting the downstream countries.”
Ghandour said that his president held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, most notably his meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“It is the most important meeting held by the president,” he said.
The meeting was the first between the Sudanese president and a top-ranking international official, since Bashir’s accusation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region.
According to Ghandour, the UN Secretary General praised the peace operations in Sudan and Darfur in particular, Khartoum's readiness to complete peace in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions, as well as its hosting of refugees from South Sudan.