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Sudanese FM: No Country will Force us to Act against Egypt’s Interests | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, US, in this file photo dated September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Cairo – Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour underlined the “very special and strategic ties” with Egypt, despite some tensions that surfaced lately between the two countries.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in Cairo on Sunday, Ghandour said that the two African states have agreed to resolve any issues that could threaten bilateral relations, stressing that no country “could use the Sudanese territories to harm Egypt or even Libya.”

The Sudanese official noted that during his recent meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, an agreement was reached on the need to maintain constant communication between the two countries’ various institutions, in order to overcome any misunderstanding.

Asked whether a third party was trying to spark tensions between Sudan and Egypt, Ghandour said: “All over the world, there are hidden parties that do not wish to see stable relations between countries.”

“There is certainly someone who is seeking to instigate conflicts, but I came here to say that the relations between our two states are sacred and we should avoid distorting them,” he added.

On whether Qatar was using Sudan to harm Egypt, the Sudanese foreign minister said: “I read such claims in the Egyptian media; but in reality this is not true.”

“Sudan’s relations with Egypt do not make room for any interference,” he noted, adding: “We cannot allow any party to push us to harm Egypt’s interests, safety or stability.”

Ghandour said that talks during his meetings have focused on security cooperation in light of the attack on African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur.

He noted that his country was keen on the formation of joint border security forces between Egypt, Sudan and Libya to promote security along the borders and counter the infiltration of terrorist groups.

He highlighted in this regard Sudan’s “successful experience with Chad”, adding that his country would also implement this security strategy with Ethiopia.

On Libya, Ghandour said it was obvious that Egypt supports Army Commander Khalifa Haftar, while Sudan is cooperating with the UN-backed national unity government.

“Consequently, we have agreed with our brothers in Egypt that the Libyan crisis should be resolved by the Libyan people themselves and that there was no alternative for an intra-Libyan dialogue to resolve the current problems,” he stated.

Asked about relations with South Sudan, Ghandour said that the two states were holding regular meetings under the umbrella of the African Union to address security and defense matters.

The foreign minister stressed the need to end the war and achieve peace in South Sudan.

“We are ready to cooperate on all levels,” he stated.