Op-ed re­view: Egypt-Su­dan re­la­tions

The Daily News Egypt - - News - By Amira El-Fekki

Over the past month, most op-eds fo­cused on Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi’s ac­tiv­i­ties and sup­port ahead of the up­com­ing elec­tion, which was in it­self a sub­ject of de­bate. While these top­ics will con­tinue through­out the last week in the run-up to the elec­tion, opinion writ­ers also dis­cussed Egyp­tian-Su­danese re­la­tions in Wed­nes­day’s news­pa­pers.

Edi­tor-in-chief of pri­vately-owned Al-Shorouk news­pa­per Emad El-Din Hus­sein tack­led Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar Al-Bashir’s re­cent visit to Egypt, prais­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ef­forts amid ten­sions and say­ing both sides sent mes­sages that ten­sions should not rise again. None­the­less, he said a visit and a cel­e­bra­tion are not enough to re­move ob­sta­cles. Hus­sein wrote that there is an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of 16 prob­lems be­tween the two coun­tries, who he said have ei­ther had per­fect re­la­tions or com­pletely de­te­ri­o­rated ones through­out their his­tory,adding that Al-Sisi has been keen on telling Egyp­tian me­dia not to use es­ca­la­tory rhetoric against Su­dan.

Also com­ment­ing on the visit, Has­san Abu Taleb wrote in Al-Watan news­pa­per that diplo­matic and se­cu­rity bod­ies suc­cess­fully or­gan­ised the event in or­der to over­come un­prece­dented ten­sions and mu­tual es­ca­la­tion by the me­dia in both coun­tries. He opined that Egypt-Su­dan re­la­tions are af­fected by a wider re­gional per­spec­tive; on the one hand, Saudi Ara­bian in­flu­ence and poli­cies of con­tin­u­ing to stand against Qatar un­til it sub­mits to their de­mands and de­sire to elim­i­nate the Mus­lim Brother­hood.On the other,it has be­come clear, ac­cord­ing to Abu Taleb, that Iran and Turkey only make al­liances with Arab coun­tries to serve their own mo­tives, dis­re­gard­ing the well­be­ing of those coun­tries and their peo­ple.

In pri­vately-owned Al-Masry AlYoum, Ab­bas Al-Tara­bily tack­led an­other per­spec­tive re­lated to the re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, which are based on mu­tual ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing the free­dom of their ci­ti­zens to travel to and work in ei­ther coun­try. Al-Tara­bily wrote about trade and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Egypt and Su­dan, say­ing that Egypt im­ports meat from far­away coun­tries, like Aus­tralia and New Zealand, whereas Su­danese meat is not only closer but also bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ated by Egyp­tians. He fur­ther won­dered why Egypt can­not agree to un­der­take agri­cul­tural projects in Su­dan while the two coun­tries share the out­come, es­pe­cially since Egypt has be­come the world’s largest wheat im­porter.

In state-run me­dia, “one peo­ple, one fu­ture” was a theme in de­scrib­ing Egypt’s re­la­tions with Su­dan.Akhbar Al-Youm’s chief edi­tor Khaled Miry said the re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries have be­come even stronger now fol­low­ing the lat­est ten­sions, as they share the same ge­og­ra­phy, his­tory, main water source, and na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests.

Al-Ahram’s Farouk Goweida wrote that the two have com­mon chal­lenges when it comes to ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ists es­cap­ing from Egypt to Su­dan and vice versa, and that on the eco­nomic front, there should be a fo­cus on full co­op­er­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

On a sep­a­rate note, Amr Al-Shobaky drew com­par­i­son in Al-Masry Al-Youm be­tween Rus­sian and Egypt, which in his opinion share a sim­i­lar po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion where the op­po­si­tion is marginalised and given scarce space. How­ever, Al-Shobaky ar­gued that an­a­lysts ap­pear­ing in the me­dia were able to smartly ex­plain Vladimir Putin’s win­ning of the elec­tion, although they stated that de­fend­ing the dig­nity of the Rus­sian peo­ple be­fore the West would not be enough to main­tain his pop­u­lar­ity over the next six years.The writer said that the Egyp­tian me­dia is un­able to pro­vide such log­i­cal ar­gu­ments in ex­plain­ing why a pres­i­dent would sweep votes in such fash­ion.


Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi with Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar Al-Bashir

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