Egypt has officially responded to a diplomatic protest by Sudan over the broadcast of a TV series that the latter complained portrayed Egyptian terrorists living in its territory.
Sudan’s foreign minister had on Saturday issued a statement saying the TV series titled ‘Abu Omar al-Masry’ insinuated that Egyptian militants can find refuge in Sudan.
Egypt’s ambassador to Sudan was subsequently summoned to receive the complaint.
It is insulting to Egyptians living in Sudan and we call upon Egypt to stop attempts at disturbing the interests of the two countries.
‘‘It is insulting to Egyptians living in Sudan and we call upon Egypt to stop attempts at disturbing the interests of the two countries,’‘ read the statement.
Frosty Egypt – Sudan relations
In the mid 1990s, Osama bin Laden and other extremists, including many from Egypt, were based in Sudan. They were later expelled after Egypt accused Sudan of involvement in a 1995 assassination attempt by Egyptian jihadists against Egypt’s then-president Hosni Mubarak during a trip to Ethiopia.
Relations between Egypt and Sudan have been lately tensed because of differences over the Ethiopian dam to be built on the Nile and the question of who owns the Halayeb Triangle.
But Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) issued a statement on Sunday refuting Sudan’s allegations.
SCMR says it examined the series’ first three episodes and found no evidence of vehicles with Sudanese plates, as claimed by Khartoum.
SCMR also alluded to the series’ disclaimer that says ‘the story, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious’.
The council said it is keen on maintaining the strong historic relations between Egypt and Sudan.
About ‘Abu Omar al-Masry’
Local media portal, Egypt Today reports that ‘Abu Omar al-Masry’ is one of six soap operas that are tackling terrorism and extremism issues, in special TV series for the Ramadan period.
The series revolves around an Egyptian lawyer Fakhreldin, played by Ahmed Ezz, who founds an association, along with a group of other lawyers, to seek solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot lawyers and their excessive fees. The group provokes a member of the security services who wants to stop their dream of an ideal society. After Fakhreldin survives an assassination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris, and then to Sudan, where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge.