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Egypt, Sudan seek revival of Wadi El-Nile Parliament

After a 33-year hiatus, the activities of Egyptian-Sudanese Wadi El-Nile Parliament will resume.

Egypt’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan and Chairperson of the National Assembly of Sudan Ibrahim Ahmed Omar discussed ways of reviving the Egyptian-Sudanese Parliament in Khartoum on Monday, Egypt’s state-owned news agency MENA reported. A meeting between members of the two countries’ parliaments will be held late October to study all measures required for Wadi El-Nile revival, the agency added.

Wadi El-Nile Parliament was established in 1981 to boost the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. However, the parliament’s activities were suspended since the ouster of late President of Sudan Gaafar Nimeiry in 1985.

In July 2018, Egypt’s House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdel Aal agreed with his Sudanese counterpart to revive the joint parliament. Their meeting came on the sidelines of the meeting of the heads of the Arab Parliaments in Cairo.

The Egyptian-Sudanese relations are currently improving following a number of diplomatic slips over the disputed border triangle of Halaib and Shalateen as Sudan claims its sovereignty over the triangle located inside Egyptian territories.

Halaib and Shalateen, or the Halaib Triangle, is an area of land measuring 20,580 square kilometers, located on the Egyptian-Sudanese border on the Red Sea coast. It is part of the Red Sea governorate and consists of three major towns.

The area belongs to Egypt politically and administratively, but has been one of the major sticking points in Egyptian-Sudanese relations since the demarcation of borders between the two countries carried out during the British occupation of Egypt in 1899, at a time when Sudan was part of the Egyptian Kingdom.

Furthermore, several months ago, the bilateral relations tensed due to the construction of the controversial Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Sudanese media claimed that Egypt has sought to exclude Sudan from the tripartite talks with Ethiopia. On January 8, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that Egypt did not ask Ethiopia to exclude Sudan from negotiations.

Egypt has voiced its concern over Ethiopia’s dam construction, as it would affect Egypt’s 55 billion cubic meter share of the Nile water. However, Addis Ababa sees the dam is necessary for its development and will not negatively affect the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan).

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