Egypt’s president on Wednesday met with Sudan’s newly appointed prime minister before heading to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Abdalla Hamdok discussed bilateral relations, according to a statement from the Egyptian presidency.
Ties between the two Nile Valley neighbors suffered from sporadic tensions during three decades of rule by Sudan’s autocratic former president, Omar al-Bashir.
Egypt is looking to start a new chapter since al-Bashir was ousted by his country’s military in April following mass protests.
A power-sharing deal between the military and the protesters established a new administration that includes a cabinet headed by Hamdok.
He had been scheduled to head to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron, but the French Embassy in Sudan tweeted that the meeting was canceled because there was no time in Macron’s agenda, and they were working to set a new date for the visit.
With Egypt, two diplomatic issues are at stake: A soon-to-be-finished Nile River dam being built by Ethiopia and a longstanding dispute over a border territory held by Egypt and claimed by Sudan.
Egypt fears the dam could reduce its share of the Nile River, which serves as a lifeline for the country’s 100 million people. Ethiopia has roughly the same population and says the dam will help its economic development.
Al-Sisi’s government wants Sudan’s support in the Nile dam dispute, as both nations are downriver from the $5 billion project, set to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam.