Search form

Last updated: 21 sec ago

You are here


Egypt, Sudan vow not to aid opposition groups

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokri (L) and his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour give a press conference in Khartoum. (AFP)
KHARTOUM: Egypt and Sudan said on Thursday they will not harbor or support opposition groups fighting their respective governments, as top diplomats of the two countries vowed to boost bilateral ties.
Relations between neighbors Cairo and Khartoum have been tense, with Sudanese President Omar Bashir accusing Egyptian intelligence services of supporting Sudanese opposition figures fighting his troops.
The Egyptian media have also accused Khartoum of offering refuge to members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was declared a “terrorist group” by Cairo following the ouster of President Mohammed Mursi in 2013.
“We will not allow any Egyptian opposition group to carry out negative activities from Sudanese territory,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters after a meeting with visiting Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
Ghandour said a recent decision by Khartoum to make Egyptian men aged from 19 to 50 obtain visas prior to entering Sudan was a result of this policy.
Since 2004 Egyptians have enjoyed visa-free access to Sudan, but earlier this month Sudanese authorities made it mandatory for adult Egyptian men to obtain visas before entering the country.
“It is important... to prevent opposition groups from our countries, especially armed groups, from carrying out negative activities against each other’s countries,” Ghandour said.
Shoukry too vowed that Cairo will work “hand in hand” to boost relations between the two countries.
“The rise in regional and international terrorist activities has increased the importance of cooperation with our Sudanese brothers to face these challenges,” Shoukry said in a brief statement alongside Ghandour in Khartoum. Sudanese officials have regularly claimed to be stepping up efforts to fight extremism in the region, although Washington has listed Sudan as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism since 1993, a charge Khartoum steadfastly denies.
A point of dispute between Cairo and Khartoum has also been Egypt’s occupation of a border region claimed by Sudan.
Egypt occupied the sparsely populated 25,000-sq.-km Halayeb triangle in 1995, during a low point in relations between the two countries.

MORE FROM Middle-East