KHARTOUM, (Xinhua): Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi on Friday denied reports of differences between the two countries on their common borders, and vowed to work together to promote cooperation.
“There is no problem between us and our brothers in Sudan on the borders, and the border issue will never stand as an obstacle to the development of relations between Khartoum and Cairo,” Morsi said at a joint press conference with al-Bashir in Khartoum at the end of his two-day visit.
For his part, al-Bashir said “we respect the borders, but we’re working in order to activate the agreement of the four freedoms, and the application of them” will lead to “no disagreements over the borders.”
The Four Freedoms agreement, signed in 2004, allows citizens of Egypt and Sudan to freely move across the border, and gives them the rights to reside, work and own property in either country without a permit.
The two presidents also stressed the importance of coordination on the issue of the Nile water, and confirmed their willingness to manage dialogue with the Nile Basin countries in order to overcome any unexpected differences.
“We are taking steps since last June to improve relations with the African countries, especially the Nile Basin countries, and we are working to remove setbacks of these relations which we had experienced,” Morsi said, referring to the chilly ties between his country and the Nile Basin countries when Egypt was ruled by Hosni Mubarak.
“We seek to build strong relationships with the Nile Basin countries and Sudan, and agree to work together in order to reach a consensus between the Nile Basin countries on projects that are implemented on the headwaters of the Nile river, so as not to cause any harm to any state of the basin,” Morsi said.
Al-Bashir, meanwhile, said “we have a committee to hold joint dialogues to study the Millennium Dam in Ethiopia, and with consultation we can overcome any attempt to create a crisis between the upstream, watercourse and downstream countries, and attempts to sow dissension among the Nile Basin countries will not succeed.”
“Our relations with Egypt have passed sinking and rising stages in terms of the official relations, but the relations between the two peoples have not been affected,” the Sudanese leader said, stressing that “The aim of the two governments is to remove the obstacles in front of the citizens in both countries to allow full freedoms of movement of persons and goods.”
The two presidents also vowed to advance cooperation in economic and trade fields, and Morsi announced that a bilateral summit will be held in Cairo soon.