Minister of International Cooperation chaired, on Tuesday, Egyptian- South Sundanese Joint Higher Committee preparatory meetings at the expert and ministerial level.
The preparatory meetings were headed by H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, with the participation of Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Ati, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources; Dr. Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education and Technical Education; Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; H.E. El Sayed El-Quseir, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation; and Ambassador Hamdi Sanad Loza, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for African Affairs.
The meetings encompassed representatives of the Ministries of Health, Electricity, Petroleum, Finance, Industry, Transport, Military Production, Culture, along with the Central Bank, the Egyptian Embassy in Juba, and many other stakeholders.
The delegation of South Sudan was headed by Ambassador Beatrice Khamisa Wani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the participation of the Ministers of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Industry and Trade, Water Resources and Irrigation, Higher Education, Science and Technology, and others.
This comes in light of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s role in coordinating between national stakeholders to push for economic cooperation with South Sudan through the first Joint Higher Committee since the signing of the agreement of the committee in 2012.
During the meeting, the heads of the delegations of experts from both sides presented the results of the technical meetings and where they stand on the joint cooperation documents discussed earlier and the development projects implemented by the Egyptian national authorities in South Sudan.
The meeting also tackled the ongoing efforts to develop joint relations in trade, agriculture, health, irrigation, water resources, bank financing, training, education, and industry; as well as the technical support that national authorities can provide in all fields in light of the historical relations between the two countries.
In her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of convening the first joint higher committee between the two countries and its role in setting clear frameworks for cooperation during the coming period to enhance joint economic relations.
Al-Mashat further praised the role played by the delegations of experts from both sides to find common ground with regards to the memoranda of understanding that ought to be signed during the closing activities of the Joint Higher Committee.
In the same vein, the minister explained that Egypt, under the guidance of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, is seeking to support development efforts and areas of joint cooperation with all African countries.
The minister also noted that the mutual visits between the two countries at the level of leaders and technical parties reflect promising prospects for cooperation and the distinguished joint relations between Egypt and South Sudan.
In addition, she pointed out that the agenda of the first session of the Joint Higher Committee is replete with numerous proposed topics and projects, which push the mechanisms of cooperation between the two countries in many areas of common interest.
She added that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in coordination with the various ministries and national authorities, will keep a watchful eye on points of agreement and cooperation frameworks to ensure their implementation during the coming period.
On her part, Ambassador Beatrice Khamisa Wani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, commended the warm welcome the Sudanese delegation received and praised the role of the two expert groups and the effort made throughout the discussions on joint areas of cooperation.
Wani highlighted the distinguished relations between Egypt and South Sudan and emphasizing the key role that the Joint Higher Committee can play to consolidate relations in various fields to advance development endeavours in South Sudan.
By the same token, the delegation of South Sudan thanked President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the Egyptian government for their continuous support of South Sudan as reflected in the Egyptian development projects that advance cooperation ties in many fields.
It is worth noting that, during November 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation chaired the first coordination meeting of the Egyptian line ministries concerning cooperation with South Sudan, in addition to several field visits carried out by ministries and technical bodies to discuss the proposed areas of cooperation between the two countries.
In the same page, the second coordination meeting was held last June to arrange for the establishment of the Joint Higher Committee.
The Arab Republic of Egypt has been seeking to consolidate economic and development cooperation with South Sudan since the latter’s independence in 2011. Many memoranda of understanding and cooperation protocols were signed in several fields such as agriculture, health, environment, education, petroleum, culture, water resources, irrigation, electricity and, energy.
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