Khartoum and Cairo: Army/Political Partnership
M-H Nowar – Khartoum
The one-day visit of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Sudan, Saturday, could be added to the ongoing steps to upgrade the relations between Khartoum and Cairo from frozen alliance to a level of more serious features, especially after the change in Sudan during which Egypt kept its support to the revolution in coincidence with the Arab League stance, which is dominated by ups and downs according to developments in Sudan.
However, it is apparent that the Arab League freed itself to some extent by expressing its satisfaction towards the improvement that occurred on the political incubator in Khartoum, especially after the removal of the burdens of normalization and the consequences associated with the ruptured axis of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on one side, and Qatar on the other.
As for Egypt, it has additional estimates related to the position of Khartoum towards GERD, which is closer to Cairo in terms of expressing security and technical concerns towards the second filling of the dam, within a sudden shift in the proposal of adding partners to the African experts committee over the GERD – which was proposed earlier by Sudan – as this has formed a new position which supports Cairo’s vision and means that Sudan and Egypt now have almost the same stance, a matter that means a lot to Egypt.
A statement from the Egyptian presidency after the visit reflected an agreement between El-Sisi and Al-Burhan that the current stage of the dam discussions required the highest levels of coordination between the two countries.
It said that Egypt supported the Sudanese proposal to form an international quartet, including the presidency of the African Union, the US, the EU and the UN, to mediate in the dam issue.
El-Sisi and Al-Burhan agreed to reject any unilateral measures aimed at monopolizing the resources of the Blue Nile.
The border crisis between Sudan and Ethiopia, which is fluctuating between severity and stillness, gives Cairo an additional factor through its announcing support to the closer party, Sudan.
On the other hand, Ethiopia might seek the support of Eritrea, who has supported Addis Ababa in its recent internal conflict; a matter that necessitates from Khartoum to put into its considerations.
Cairo has other factors related to the Sudanese internal affairs, especially after the peace agreement and the internationally supported transition in Sudan, along with the normalization issue, as it will lead to more Egyptian political and economic openness towards Sudan considering that this will preserve the interests of Cairo and its bilateral understanding on GERD.
The Egyptian support of Sudan will also achieve preventive security to the transitional regime in Sudan against any misalignment in the military or civilian parties in the Sudanese government.
There has been high-level diplomatic and military activity between the two countries in recent days.
The Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces Mohamed Farid concluded recently a two-day visit to Khartoum, during which an agreement was signed for cooperation in the fields of military training and coordination.
Such military understandings give the Egyptian army an opportunity to provide support to Sudan according to the events therein.