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Egypt's Sisi to visit Sudan in October amid diplomatic tensions

Egypt's Sisi to visit Sudan in October amid diplomatic tensions


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will visit Khartoum in October to seal several bilateral deals, Sudan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday during a visit to Cairo, at a time of fraught relations between the neighbours.

Sudan banned the import of Egyptian farm produce last year over alleged use of pesticides and is in a longstanding dispute over territory in Egypt’s south that Khartoum says is Sudanese.

For its part, Egypt fears Sudan will support Ethiopia in its bid to quickly fill a reservoir behind the mega-hydroelectric dam it is constructing on the Nile. Cairo is concerned the dam could wreak havoc on its sensitive water supply but Sudan has supported it because of its need for electricity.

“(Sisi’s) visit will be to partake in the (bilateral) high joint committee and there are a lot of agreements that will be completed,” Al-Dirdiri Mohamed said. He did not give a date for the visit or details of agreements that may be signed.

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Sisi swearing in for June 2

Meanwhile, state-owned Egyptian daily Al-Ahram newspaper reports that Sisi will be sworn in for a second term on June 2.

Sisi won a second term with a landslide 97% during the March presidential election. Sisi’s opponent was little known El Ghad party chairperson, Moussa Mostafa Moussa after other potentially strong contenders withdrew from the race citing state intimidation.

Al-Ahram also reports that this swearing in will be the first held in parliament since former ruler Hosni Mubarak began his fifth consecutive term in 2005.

Sisi is credited with stabilising Egypt following the tumultuous years post the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak, while his critics fault him for narrowing the democratic space and limiting freedoms of expressing alternative views.

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