Egypt’s El-Sisi visits Sudan for Nile Dam talks | News Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Cairo said the Egyptian president will also discuss Red Sea security with Sudanese leaders during his visit to Khartoum.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visited Sudan on Saturday for the first time since the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir, as neighbors try to break diplomatic deadlock over an ongoing giant roadblock construction by Ethiopia.
El-Sisi was also due to discuss Red Sea security and developments at Sudan’s borders during his visit to Khartoum, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.
Sudan faces security challenges, including increased violence in the western region of Darfur and recent armed skirmishes in a disputed area on its border with Ethiopia.
Egypt and Sudan lie downstream of the Ethiopian Renaissance Grand Dam (GERD), which Addis Ababa says is crucial for its economic development.
Ethiopia, which claims it has the right to use the Nile waters long exploited by Egypt, began filling the reservoir behind the dam last year after Egypt and Sudan failed to obtain a legally binding agreement on the operation of the hydroelectric dam.
Khartoum fears that the dam, which sits on the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan, could increase the risk of flooding and affect the safe operation of its own dams on the Nile, while poor Egypt in water, fears that its supplies from the Nile will be affected.
Years of diplomatic talks over the project have repeatedly stalled.
Sudan recently proposed that the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union actively intervene in the dispute, rather than simply observing the talks, a suggestion Egypt supports.
Ethiopia this week indicated its opposition to adding mediators to an existing process led by the African Union.
In a telephone interview with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry “stressed the need to launch a serious and effective negotiation process” on the dam before a second round filling planned this summer.
Since Al-Bashir was overthrown following mass protests in 2019, a military-civilian council has occupied power in Sudan as part of a political transition that is expected to last until the end of 2023.