Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan government has hailed relations between Juba and Cairo saying Egypt is one of the special allies in the region. This comes after President Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Cairo on Sunday for a two-day state visit in which he met President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi and discussed bilateral relations and regional issues.
In a statement following the meeting between President Salva Kiir and President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi, South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs hailed relations between Juba and Cairo and stressed the need to advance the relations it said begun immediately following the independence of Sudan in 1956.
“The People of South Sudan and Egypt enjoy a longstanding history of friendship. Egypt is the first country in Africa and indeed the world to provide large numbers of scholarships to Southern Sudanese students soon after Sudan’s independence in 1956. As they studied in Egyptian Universities, they discovered the marginalization they were subjected to under the Sudan at that time,” the ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement seen by Sudans Post.
“Many of them went on to serve as part of the revolutionary forces at the forefront of the war of liberation. In fighting against their marginalization in the Sudan, they laid the early foundations for an independent South Sudan. Today, Egyptian-trained lawyers, doctors and engineers constitute the backbone of South Sudan’s civil service,” it added. It then said that the “historical relations are the context in which we South Sudanese consider Egypt as a special ally in the region.”
“President Kiir’s visit is both symbolic and at the same time presents an opportunity for the two countries to explore new areas of cooperation. The delegation reinvigorated the status of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUS) signed between the Republic of South Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt that includes; the training of South Sudanese diplomats, provision of agricultural land for Egyptian investors, and establishment of educational training centers in South Sudan among others.
“President Kiir also shared concerns over developing regional issues. He recognized Egypt as a powerful state and encouraged President Al Sisi to further support efforts towards lasting peace in the region.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan appreciates the warm reception accorded to the South Sudanese delegation and looks forward to deepening relations between Juba and Cairo for the benefit of our two nations.”