By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan and Egypt have reached an agreement to reinforce diplomatic ties for mutual stability and development between the citizens of the two Countries.
This came after Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Juba on Monday and met with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, to encourage an end to the country’s civil war and to announce assistance in health and education.
President Salva Kiir received a message of solidarity and support from President Abdul-Fatah Al-Sisi which was delivered by Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry.
Egyptian Foreign Minister’s visit also comes at a time when South Sudan request to join the Arab League regional body, also at the time the South Sudan factions are expected to hold the final round of August 2015 peace revitalization talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In the joint press briefing, the South Sudan Minister in Office of President, Mayiik Ayii Deng, emphasized on stability as crucial for his country whose development was outer layer due to the ongoing civil war.
“Egypt is known as the cradle of civilisation and our great grand ancestors were part of that historical legacy. We are also bound by the creator, because we drink and share the Nile water, which has been a source of life since time immemorial for our people in both countries,” Deng explained.
Minister Ayii also said the Arab nation was not only a political ally of South Sudan, but also a great supporter of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/ Army during the civil war which ended in 2005, then climaxing in the country’s independence.
“Egypt therefore, is not just an ally for political expediency; Egypt has been a steadfast supporter of the people of South Sudan in their darkest of hours. Egypt took the initiative in the 1970s to take, in their thousands, South Sudanese students to study at various universities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry hailed the Juba leadership for opening doors for cooperation between the two countries.
Shoukry said that his country would continue to support all processes aiming to achieve peace and stability in South Sudan.
“Egypt will stand with South Sudan as brothers and sisters so that they can achieve their aspirations and obtain their security and stability,” Shoukry told the press in Juba.
On the same event, Cairo and Juba has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.
The MoU, will focus on areas of capacity building and enhancing the cooperation between the two foreign ministries.
South Sudan is well into its fifth year of fighting and the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, shows no signs of ending.
During South Sudan’s earlier war for independence from Sudan, Egypt accepted South Sudanese refugees and gave them access to education. Currently Egypt has more than 50,000 South Sudanese refugees.
The Egyptian Embassy said in a Facebook posting that since 2005, Egypt has supported development in South Sudan and built four electrical stations, as well as schools and medical clinics across the country
Egypt has promised to invest in multiple areas and as well as the national dialogue initiative in South Sudan to forges lasting peace in the East Africa oil – rich country.