Jan 05 2018

Island deal with Turkey triggered Sudan-Egypt tension

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Sudan on the last week of December and singing of a port deal in Suakin strained relations between Sudan and Egypt.

Sudan withdrew its ambassador from Egypt, without stating a reason, BBC reported. Egypt is reviewing the developments, it said.

The $650 million deal aims to reconstruct the port for civil and military naval traffic, also aiming to turn the region into a touristic hub.

The relations between two countries were already marred by Sudan’s accusations to Egypt of backing insurgents in Darfur, last year, BBC said, after which it banned agricultural exports from Egypt.

The contested Hala'ib Triangle territory also remains a problem between the two neighbouring countries.

Egyptian papers also wrote that Turkey is conspiring against the country’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“Ethiopia tries to dry out Egypt by the new dam, Qatar tries to bankrupt Egyptian economy, and Sudan is conspiring with Turkey and Iran against Egypt in exchange of dollars,” Al Watan newspaper was quoted by BBC as saying.

Ankara has signed a $50 million agreement with Khartoum for a military base in the country three months ago, the report said, which drew criticism from its neighbours for opening Africa to Turkish influence.