Shoukry receives his Sudanese counterpart after weeks of tensions 

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Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry received his Sudanese counterpart, Ibrahim Ghandour, at Cairo Airport on Friday. The two sides discussed the bilateral relations within the framework of the joint Sudanese-Egyptian political consultations committee in a meeting on Saturday.

The meeting comes as a new assertion of the special relationship between Cairo and Khartoum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said on Twitter. Shoukry and Ghandour asserted the brotherly and neighbouring relations between the two sides and discussed the regional and international crises, as well as the bilateral commercial and economic relations and issues of the common interest.

The Sudanese minister had postponed his planned trip to Cairo, originally planned for the Sunday before. Ghandour told Sudanese local media that he had informed the Egyptian side that the postponement of the visit was due to internal issues. On Thursday, Ghandour received Egypt’s ambassador to Sudan, Osama Shaltout, and discussed with him various bilateral and regional issues of common concern.

Last week, Sudanese prime minister Bakri Hassan Salih extended the ban on Egyptian agricultural products, which was announced last September. Also, the commissioners of North Khartoum and El-Fasher, North Darfur issued decisions banning Egyptian street vendors.

Ten days ago, Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir accused Egypt of supporting the armed groups in Darfur in western Sudan. In his speech before the attendants of a ceremony for retired army officers in the ministry of defence, Al-Bashir added that the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have seized Egyptian armoured vehicles used by the Darfur rebels in their attack last Friday on the two states.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rejected the Sudanese accusations and said that “Egypt does not conspire against any country and does not interfere in the internal relations of any country, especially Sudan.”

Relations between Egypt and Sudan have been strained since 1995, after the assassination attempt on the life of then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, which Egypt accused Sudan’s government of facilitating.

Tensions had continued since July 2013, when former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power. In the past couple of years, multiple other issues have amplified the strain between the two countries, such as the disputed Halayeb and Shalateen triangle, Sudan’s support for the Ethiopian dam, and the ban of Egyptian agricultural products.

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