News from the Arab Press

From Cairo To Khartoum, A Brotherhood Dating Back Centuries

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

January 9, 2018

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Al-Shorouq, Egypt, January 1

Throughout history, Egypt and Sudan were one and the same, with Egyptian dynasties controlling Sudan and Sudanese leaders ruling over Egypt. The two countries were viewed as interrelated pieces of the same land. Unfortunately, the brotherhood that once characterized relations between the Egyptian and Sudanese people has disappeared. Last month, Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations forwarded a memo to the secretary general protesting Egypt’s decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia, a move that would have reshaped Sudan’s territorial waters. Thereafter, Khartoum recalled its envoy to Egypt amid growing tensions over the distribution of the Nile’s resources. What happened to the collaboration that once existed between these two nations? What led us to this unprecedented state of affairs, whereby the people of Egypt and Sudan now view each other with disgust? Why does a government feel the need to turn to international forums like the UN instead of solving the problem directly with its neighbor? The answer is complicated but comes down to one thing: namely, the media. The Sudanese press has been spreading disinformation regarding Cairo’s position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as well as its plan to reallocate the Nile’s waters. The Sudanese people have been brainwashed to believe that the Egyptian government is out to destroy their country. They are unaware of the fact that, from the Egyptian people’s perspective, a victory for Sudan is a victory for Egypt, and vice versa. What Egypt truly cares about is ensuring its ability to continue providing drinking water to millions of citizens. There is no greed or secret motives, a reality that must be made clear to our southern neighbor. Our leaders must stand up and say with a loud voice that we are your brothers and we come in peace. The ties between our two countries, which date back centuries, are stronger than any territorial dispute over islands or dams.  – Abd al-Nasser Salama

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