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Erdogan Visit Stirs Up Tension Between Sudan, Egypt

Sudan’s relations with Egpyt saw serious deterioration after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s visit to Khartoum.

Sudan on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Egypt for “consultations” after renewed tension between the two neighbors following Mr. Erdogan’s visit.

Ties between Khartoum and Cairo have deteriorated since Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir last year accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition figures fighting his troops in the country’s conflict zones like Darfur.

Officials from both countries have engaged in high-level diplomatic initiatives to improve their relations, but Erdogan’s visit to Khartoum in December delivered a new blow to Cairo-Khartoum ties.

“Sudan has called its ambassador to Cairo, Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim, to Khartoum for consultations,” the Sudanese foreign ministry said in a brief statement on Thursday without offering details.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said Sudan had informed it about recalling the ambassador, adding that Cairo was “examining” the situation.

Ties between Turkey and Egypt have remained tense since the Egyptian military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, a close ally of Erdogan.

Erdogan denounced Morsi’s ouster and called it a “coup.”

Morsi’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt, but members of the group have sought refuge in Turkey.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as then-army chief ousted Morsi, accuses Turkey of interfering in his country’s internal affairs.

Other reasons for the deterioration of relations between Cairo and Khartoum include the construction of Ethiopia’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile river.

Khartoum sees the dam aiding its agricultural sector while Cairo fears it will hit its water supplies.

Egypt’s occupation of the Halayeb triangle, which lies near the Red Sea in a mineral-rich border region, is another bone of contention.

Khartoum says Halayeb has been part of its sovereign territory since shortly after independence in 1956.

Last May, Sudan banned imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal products, delivering a blow to bilateral trade.

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