Americans need to understand the Middle East
How much do we really know?

At The Media Line, we value all points of view and aim to mend our differences through fact-based narrative-inclusive journalism Help support our bold and brave team in Afghanistan, Gaza, Israel, Palestinian Territories, the UAE, and beyond.
Help us continue our work and provide access to the news that matters to you.

Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for this Jewish New Year.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Egyptian-Sudanese Relations at a Crossroads
Sudan’s Jaafar Nimeiry (left) and Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser (center) review troops together with their host, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, at Tripoli Airport in 1969. (Wikimedia Commons)

Egyptian-Sudanese Relations at a Crossroads

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, August 27

Any observer of history and politics knows that Sudan is a strategic extension of Egypt and that Egypt is a strategic extension of Sudan. The relationship between the two countries has been an important one since the dawn of time. But these relations changed and evolved over the years, not always for the better. The ups and downs have been directly affected by the nature of the regimes in both Cairo and Khartoum. Regardless, Egypt has always viewed Sudan as one single unit and refrained from siding with one party over another. These bilateral relations have witnessed three key milestones throughout history. The first and most notable one took place after the July Revolution of 1952, when the Unionist Party headed by Ismail Al-Azhari abandoned the idea of the “unity of the Nile Valley,” turned its back on the idea of uniting with Egypt and declared Sudan’s independence. Historians agree that Egypt’s realignment toward the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Nasser and Naguib, inherently came at the expense of unity with Sudan. The second milestone was the 1969 rise to power of Jaafar Nimeiry, who led Sudan to its best relations with Egypt. Nimeiry refused to join other Arab countries in boycotting Egypt following its signing of a peace deal with Israel. He worked closely with the governments of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak until he was ousted from power in 1985, during the Sudanese civil war. His relations with Egypt’s leaders were so close that Nimeiry sought asylum in Cairo, where he was honored and dignified until returning to his country in 1999. In one of my conversations with him during his exile in Egypt, Nimeiry recalled how close the relationship between the Egyptian and Sudanese people had been, especially during the 1967 setback, when Sudan supported Egypt both militarily and diplomatically. The third milestone was the so-called National Salvation Revolution of 1989, inspired by the ideology of the Islamic Front and the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought to power Omar al-Bashir. The coup was a clear turning point in Sudanese-Egyptian relations, as Bashir’s regime adopted outwardly hostile stances against Cairo. The results were immediate: Bashir shut down the Cairo University in Khartoum, revoked agreements with the Egyptian government and launched border disputes with Egypt, especially along the Halayib Triangle. When the Bashir regime that divided Sudan fell in 2019, the people of Sudan and Egypt breathed a sigh of relief. The new leadership, under the Transitional Military Council, began rebuilding Khartoum’s relations with Cairo with the hope that the two peoples would build a better future for themselves and the region. This attitude was reflected in the Sudanese position during the recent negotiations over the Renaissance Dam [in Ethiopia], reminding all of us, on both sides of the border, that the historical ties between our two peoples are long-lasting and deeply rooted. – Mustafa Elfeki (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.