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Sisi Visits Khartoum to Discuss Bilateral Relations, GERD Crisis

Sisi Visits Khartoum to Discuss Bilateral Relations, GERD Crisis

Saturday, 6 March, 2021 - 07:00
Sisi met Sudanese Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi in Cairo early this week (press photo)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is set to arrive in Khartoum on Saturday to discuss bilateral relations and issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Sisi’s short visit is the first to Khartoum after President Omar al-Bashir's ouster, almost two years ago.

“President Sisi’s visit to the country starts Saturday and lasts for a couple of hours,” Sudan’s Information Ministry announced.

However, no Sudanese official statements were released about Sisi’s agenda or the officials he is expected to meet.

Last Tuesday, Sudanese Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi met Sisi in Cairo and said that Sudan is looking forward to an anticipated visit to Khartoum by the Egyptian President within the coming days.

Meanwhile, media reports said Sisi’s visit would discuss military cooperation between Cairo and Khartoum, Ethiopia’s filling of the GERD reservoir in violation of previous compacts, in addition to the electricity issue and the border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia in the al-Fashaga region.

Earlier, the Sudanese FM met Sisi and her Egyptian counterpart Minister Sameh Shoukry and highlighted the importance of reaching a binding legal agreement on filling and operating GERD.

In a joint press conference, the two foreign ministers stressed that Ethiopia's possible second-phase filling of the Nile dam unilaterally would pose a direct threat to the water security of Egypt and Sudan.

Cairo and Khartoum still hope to reach a binding diplomatic solution on water usage mediated by the US, EU, UN, and African Union.

Sisi’s visit to Sudan on Saturday comes after several visits by high-level Egyptian and Sudanese political and military officials to Cairo and Khartoum.

Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan and Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok had both visited Cairo and held talks with Sisi over bilateral relations and the filling and operation of GERD.

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