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British FM in Khartoum to discuss Sudan-Ethiopia tensions…

Sudanese Prime MInister Abdullah Hamdok, right, bumps elbows with British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab in the Cabinet Building, in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Raab was in the Sudanese capital Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and tensions along the border with Ethiopia, Sudan's state news agency reported. (AP Photo)

AP . Thu, January 21, 2021, 12:58 PM
CAIRO (AP) — Britain’s foreign secretary was in the Sudanese capital on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and tensions along the border with Ethiopia, Sudan’s state news agency reported.

Dominic Raab, who arrived in Khartoum late Wednesday, was expected to meet with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, Sudan’s prime minister and acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din, said SUNA.

The report quoted a statement by the United Kingdom’s Embassy in Sudan saying Raab was to discuss the situation along the Sudan-Ethiopia border, where violent clashes between Sudanese forces and Ethiopian militias have taken place, leading to concerns of a potential military conflict between the neighboring countries.

Raab was also expected to discuss the ongoing water dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. The dispute is over Ethiopia’s construction of a controversial dam on the Blue Nile River, the main tributary of the Nile.

Raab also planned to meet with several civil society leaders, SUNA said.

Sudan is on a fragile path to democratic rule after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, after nearly three decades of rule. A military-civilian government is now in power.

“Sudan is passing through a critical juncture in its transition to democracy,” Raab was quoted by SUNA as saying. “The U.K. takes pride in standing by the side of the Sudanese people.”

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