Egyptian MPs accuse Sudan of escalating tensions

Egypt accused Khartoum of escalating tensions with Cairo over the Hala'ib Triangle. (Photo courtesy Sudan)
Updated 06 January 2018
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Egyptian MPs accuse Sudan of escalating tensions

CAIRO: Egyptian MPs have accused Khartoum of escalating tensions with Cairo and renewing Sudanese claims to a disputed border area known as the Hala’ib Triangle.
The accusation was made after Sudan on Thursday summoned its ambassador from neighboring Egypt for consultations.
“We respect the Sudanese people and their political leadership. However, this escalation (summoning the ambassador) is unjustified,” said Egyptian MP Mona Mounir.
Cairo is willing “to discuss and negotiate everything with neighboring Sudan, except what might affect Egypt’s historic share of the (Nile) water and its documented and recognized borders,” she added.
Sudan’s summoning of its ambassador and its claim to the Hala’ib Triangle “will never deter us from protecting every inch of our territory,” Mounir said.
Khartoum’s actions came days after Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejected Sudan’s claim to the territory, and its allegations that it is under Egyptian “occupation.”
Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the ministry will send a letter to the UN in response to Khartoum’s letter claiming that Egypt is occupying Sudanese territory. Egypt’s letter will emphasize its sovereignty over Hala’ib, he added.
In November, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Ghandour said his country “will never give up Hala’ib.”
The head of Sudan’s Technical Committee for Border Demarcation (TCBD), Abdullah Al-Sadiq, on Thursday reiterated his country’s position regarding the territory.
He called for a peaceful resolution, but said the continued “Egyptian infringement” on Sudanese land would provoke Khartoum to engage in direct clashes and would be counterproductive for Cairo. “Hala’ib is Sudanese, and we will restore our sovereignty over it,” he added.
Egyptian MP Tariq Al-Khawly said Sudan’s summoning of its ambassador was aimed at escalating tensions, and was carried out in coordination with Qatar and Turkey. He added that the dispute would damage Egypt’s interests and affect its national security.


Israel army says delegation heading to Russia over Lebanon ops

Updated 11 December 2018
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Israel army says delegation heading to Russia over Lebanon ops

  • The Kremlin said on Saturday that Netanyahu had called Putin to discuss the operation against alleged Hezbollah tunnels
JERUSALEM: An Israeli army delegation will head to Moscow on Tuesday to brief their Russian counterparts on operations to destroy Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon, the military said.
“An Israeli army delegation composed of senior officers and led by the head of army operations, General Aharon Haliva, will fly to Moscow on Tuesday,” the military said in a statement.
“During the day-long visit, the delegation will brief their Russian counterparts on Operation Northern Shield and other operational issues,” said the statement issued on Monday.
The announcement came after a telephone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Israel on Wednesday launched an operation — dubbed Northern Shield — aimed at destroying alleged Hezbollah “attack tunnels” infiltrating its territory from Lebanon.
Ties between Israel and Russia have been strained since the accidental downing of one of Moscow’s transport planes on September 17 by Syrian ground batteries killed 15 service personnel.
Moscow pinned responsibility for the incident on Israel, saying its fighter jet used the larger Russian plane for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.
Russia subsequently upgraded Syrian air defenses with the delivery of the advanced S-300 system.
The Kremlin said on Saturday that Netanyahu had called Putin to discuss the operation against alleged Hezbollah tunnels.
During the conversation, Putin stressed “the need to ensure stability along the dividing line between Israel and Lebanon,” according to Russia’s embassy in Israel.
Netanyahu for his part reaffirmed Israel’s policy of preventing the establishment of an Iranian presence in Syria and to “act against the aggression of Iran and Hezbollah.”
Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, and the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement claimed credit for its withdrawal following persistent guerrilla attacks.
The two countries are still technically at war but the border has remained relatively calm in recent years.
Russia is fighting on the same side as Iran and Hezbollah in support of President Bashar Assad in Syria.