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Egypt, S.Sudan leaders discuss bilateral ties, regional issues

Cairo, Oct 11 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his South Sudan counterpart President Salva Kiir held intensive bilateral talks to enhance bilateral relations at the political, economic and security levels.

During a press conference after their meeting in Cairo on Sunday, Sisi said he also touched on the momentum that both countries' relations gained in the past period across different fields of cooperation, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We followed the outcome of the first round of the Joint Higher Committee that convened in Cairo in July 2021 and the opportunities it brought for coordination and consultation," he said during the press conference.

This is in addition to the resulting agreements that were signed by the two sides in the fields of irrigation, trade and industry, he added.

Sisi said they agreed on the importance of giving new impetus to bilateral ties to expand to broader horizons of cooperation by increasing the rate of trade between the two countries, growing Egyptian investments in South Sudan and easing access to Egyptian exports.

The President reiterated that Egypt will always remain a firm supporter of South Sudan and will continue its efforts in support of all means to promote peace, stability and development there.

Sisi also confirmed Egypt's full support for Kiir's efforts to achieve peace in the country and for the efforts exerted by various parties to proceed on the path of implementing the transitional period's milestones, according to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

"We also exchanged views on a multitude of current regional and international issues of mutual interest, primarily ongoing developments in the East Africa region and the Horn of Africa, and ways to contain their possible repercussions on the rest of the region's countries," the Egyptian President said.

The talks also touched on various aspects pertinent to Nile water issues, the ongoing coordination between the two countries in this regard and current developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dossier.

"I underscored the importance of reaching a legally-binding agreement that regulates the filling and operation of the dam, based on rules of the international law and UN Security Council resolutions on the issue.

"This shall promote stability in the entire region and open up broader prospects for cooperation among Nile Basin countries," Sisi noted.