Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held on Tuesday talks with his Sudanese counterpart El Dardiri Mohamed Ahmed during his first visit to Cairo to discuss enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as regional issues of common interests.
The visit came almost two weeks after the nine-party meeting held between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Addis Ababa. The meeting aimed at resuming technical studies related to the controversial dam and its impact on Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopia is financing the $4bn hydropower dam on the Blue Nile River, the source of most of the water reaching Egypt. It has repeatedly denied, since it began the GERD’s construction, that its ambitious project will adversely affect downstream countries.
Ties between Egypt and Sudan were strained over the latter’s support for the construction of the project. Egypt fears that building the dam on the Nile River will restrict its water share. Several meetings have been held since Ethiopia started building the dam in attempt to resolve the issue, but they have so far produced few results.
Moreover, the conflict over the sovereignty of Halayeb and Shalateen, as well as Sudan’s accusations against Egypt of interference in its internal affairs, contribute to tensions between Cairo and Khartoum.