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Monday, January 28, 2013

Foreign minister discusses Sudan land bridge with Ethiopian FM - Daily News Egypt


Foreign minister discusses Sudan land bridge with Ethiopian FM


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Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr released a statement on Sunday saying a land bridge linking Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will be open in two months.
On Saturday Kamel Amr met with Ethiopian’s foreign minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebrevesus during the African Union’s executive council meeting in Ethiopia to discuss bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of trade, investments, education, agriculture and health.
According to the statement, Kamel Amr also discussed the road linking Egypt with Sudan and Ethiopia, saying it will promote trade between the three countries.
The road is part of a greater land bridge project aimed at connecting Cairo to Cape Town, allowing for faster travel and increased trade across the region.
The project was announced in 2010 when Egypt and Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding to create a road linking several major cities along a route between both nations. The initial investment cost was estimated to be $500m.
In 2012 the government announced the project would be finished by September but its opening was delayed due to minor disagreements surrounding visa requirements and customs at the border.
Both ministers agreed on making preparations for the fifth session of the joint committee, set to coincide with the passing of 85 years of diplomatic relations.
Kamel Amr also spoke about continued coordination between both countries regarding the Sudanese crisis. According to the state-run news agency Al-Ahram, the two countries supported dialogue in order to resolve several issues stalling the peace process, which includes land disputes and natural resources.
The executive council meeting ended Saturday, ahead of the African Union Summit.
President Mohamed Morsy was originally set to travel to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to attend the summit on Sunday, but cancelled his trip due to the ongoing turmoil in Egypt. Kamel Amr took his place in the meeting, reading from a speech prepared by the president who, according to his speech, had pressing commitments which prevented him from attending.
Morsy praised Ethiopia and its leadership, lamented for recently deceased African leaders and praised the work done by the African Union, saying in spite of all that has been achieved through Africa’s struggle, the fight continues for the sake of freedom, development and human dignity.
The summit will address regional security issues including African intervention in Mali, continuing disputes between South Sudan and Sudan, and developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo where fighting between MK23 rebels and government troops has left over 30,000 civilians displaced.

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