Sudan urges Egypt to discuss disputed territories: ministry

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C-R) walks alongside Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (in robes) upon the latter’s arrival in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh ahead of an Arab League summit, March, 2015/AFP

, KHARTOUM, Sudan, Apr 18 – Sudan’s foreign ministry Sunday called on neighbouring Egypt to discuss two disputed border territories days after Cairo transferred two islands to Saudi Arabia.

Sudan and Egypt have long disputed ownership of the Halayeb and Shalatin areas between the countries near to the Red Sea.

“Sudan calls on its brothers in the Arab Republic of Egypt to sit for direct negotiations to solve this issue, as was done with the brothers in Saudi Arabia or by resorting to international arbitration,” Sudan’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

It was the first time Sudan’s foreign ministry has called for talks on the small territories since Egypt transferred control of two islands in the Straits of Tiran to Saudi Arabia last Monday.

More than 1,000 Egyptians demonstrated in central Cairo on Friday, partly in protest at the decision to hand over the two islands to Saudi Arabia last week.

Khartoum has regularly protested at Egypt’s administration of Halayeb and Shalatin, which it has said are part of its sovereign territory since shortly after its independence in 1956.

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