Khartoum-Cairo relations strained over assault on Sudanese expat by police
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir

CAIRO: Egyptian-Sudanese relations strained in the past few days over “inappropriate treatment of Sudanese expatriates in an Egyptian police station.

Sudanese embassy in Cairo stated that a Sudanese elderly man has been assaulted on Nov. 22 in Cairo-based Abdeen polling station where he detained over charges of illegal dealing of exchange. Yahia Zakaria was arrested from an exchange office where he was changing currency required for his son medical treatment.

However, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated Friday that no discrimination against Sudanese expatriates in Egypt, saying “All Egyptian and Sudanese are equal before the law.”

Social media users have created a hashtag #‏أنا_آسف_يا_سودان (Iam sorry Sudan), offering apology for Sudanese people over the assault accident.

Due to the assault incident, Kahrtoum postponed a meeting between with both Egypt and Ethiopia on the Renaissance Dam scheduled on Nov. 12; the three-state Nile Tripartite Committee (NTC) for Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is set to resume talks in Khartoum Nov. 29-30, Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy told Youm7 Saturday.

The relations were soured after a total of 101 Egyptian fishermen were detained in April 2014, two weeks after entering into Sudanese territorial waters.

Sudan had previously commuted prison sentences and a 5,000 EGP ($638) fine against the Egyptian fishermen over charges of crossing into Sudanese waters. The fishermen, however, were still standing trial in Sudan on charges of spying; their hearing was adjourned to July 28.

In August 2015, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pardoned the imprisoned 101 Egyptian fishermen, following talks with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Reciprocally, Egypt has pardoned 44 Sudanese people accused for trying to illegally enter Egyptian territories.

However, both countries Egypt and Sudan have agreed to revive a project of reclaiming around 100,000 acres in Sudan within one year to meet the production needs of Egyptian and Sudanese people in Blue Nile. In July, both sides signed an agreement to extend the company’s contract for 30 more years to yield the benefits of the 100,000 acres.

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