Egypt denies backing Darfur rebels
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has strongly denied backing rebel forces during the recent flare-up in hostilities between the armed movements and the Sudanese army in North and East Darfur.
“Egypt respects the sovereignty of Sudan over its territory and has not and will not interfere for a single day to destabilise Sudan or harm its people,” it said in a statement from Cairo.
The Ministry’s statement is in response to allegations made by Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir in a speech to veterans of the Sudan Armed Forces in Khartoum on Sunday.
Al Bashir: “Egypt has not supported our government for 20 years - neither during the war in southern Sudan, on the pretext that it was an internal affair.” He said that 59 armoured vehicles were destroyed out of the 64 vehicles that entered from two sides simultaneously – from South Sudan and from the border with North Darfur.
Al Bashir’s accusations come a week ahead of a visit to Cairo by Sudan's foreign minister that is aimed at easing tensions between the neighbouring states.
Egypt and Sudan have been at odds in recent months on a range of issues from disputed land in southern Egypt to trade restrictions and burdensome visa requirements that have threatened bilateral commercial ties.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour is expected to travel to Cairo on May 31 to discuss, among other issues, a simmering trade dispute that has blocked Egyptian agricultural imports.
Sources: RD / Reuters
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