Egypt foreign minister, spy chief visit protest-hit Sudan

Thursday December 27 2018

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE |

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Egypt's Foreign minister and Intelligence chief visited Khartoum Thursday for talks with Sudanese government officials facing deadly protests and calls for President Omar al-Bashir to step down over price hikes.

Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and Gen Abbas Kamel went into meetings with their Sudanese counterparts soon after arriving, officials said, adding the two were later expected to meet President Bashir.

Egypt's Foreign ministry said earlier that the talks were part of "directives by the leaders of both countries to develop bilateral relations".

An impasse

The visit follows more than a week of demonstrations in Sudan that evolved into deadly clashes between riot police and protesters angered by increased bread prices.

Sudanese authorities say eight demonstrators have been killed since December 19 , but Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37, citing "credible reports".

Cairo and Khartoum have recently sought to iron out their differences in a bid to improve relations roiled by a longstanding border dispute and an impasse in talks over Ethiopia's Nile dam.

In October Sudan lifted a ban on agricultural imports from Egypt during a visit to Khartoum by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.