AFRICANGLOBE – The Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi arrived in Khartoum today in his first visit since his election last June in the first free polls conducted after the demise of the regime of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Despite being ideologically in harmony with Sudan’s Arab minority government, Morsi appeared reluctant to visit his southern neighbor since his ascension to power despite traveling to many other countries which officials in Khartoum privately expressed unhappiness with.
Some columnists and commentators in pro-government newspapers also expressed fury when Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir was not received by Morsi at the airport in his visit last September.
Relations between the two countries have also appeared to sour recently after Khartoum said that Cairo is stalling the implementation of the Four Freedoms agreement signed in 2004 under Mubarak.
The Sudanese government also protested meetings by Darfur rebel figures with Egyptian ruling party officials in Cairo.
But today the two sides seemed to want to turn a new leaf in their relationship.
Bashir and Morsi agreed to upgrade to representation at the joint committee at the presidential level to bolster ties.
The Sudanese leader also announced that he is granting Egypt a plot with a size of two million square meters north of the capital Khartoum to build an industrial complex.
Bashir stressed in a speech at the joint session of talks his country’s full support to Egypt’s stability and willingness to harness all human and material resources to achieve it.
He also stressed his country’s keenness to build strategic relation with Egypt that is based on a solid ground of understandings, agreements and joint mechanisms that will enable them to meet the challenges and overcome difficulties.
“What goes on in Egypt affects Sudan,” Bashir said, adding that Sudan wants Egypt to regain its positive and active role in the region after stagnating for a long time.
Morsi on his end said that Egypt is seeking real economic relationship with Sudan, in all areas to realize the hopes of the two peoples.
He said that the situation in Egypt following the 2011 revolution and the Egyptian people’s quest for social justice did not distract Cairo from the concerns and problems of its “Arab brothers.”
The Egyptian leader announced that his country would seek to open a dialogue between Juba and Khartoum to reach strong and close relations between the two sides, stressing that Egypt will continue its role in support of the two countries.
Morsi also went on to say that Egypt will work to bring the various Darfur movements in the Doha peace agreement and also expressed his country’s support to the donors conference taking place next week in Qatar.
In a related issue the National Umma Party (NUP) leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi informed Cairo that he will not be able to meet with Morsi because of pressing political activity in the White Nile State but will be represented by his deputy Fadl Burma.
The Popular Congress Party (PCP) however, announced that it has received an invitation for a meeting between its leader Hassan al-Turabi and Egyptian President at Al-Salam Rotana Hotel this morning.
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