Sudan pleas with Egypt to discuss disputed territories

Sudan pleas with Egypt to discuss disputed territories
2 min read
18 April, 2016
The Sudanese government plans to seek international arbitration unless Egypt agrees to enter negotiations over the disputed Halayeb Triangle.
Control of two islands in the Straits of Tiran was transferred to Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Sudan's foreign ministry has called on neighbouring Egypt to discuss two disputed border territories days after Cairo transferred two islands to Saudi Arabia.

Sudan and Egypt have long disputed ownership of the Halayeb and Shalatin areas near to the Red Sea.

The Sudanese government plans to seek international arbitration unless Egypt agrees to enter negotiations.

"Sudan calls on its brothers in the Arab Republic of Egypt to sit for direct negotiations to solve this issue, as was done with the brothers in Saudi Arabia or by resorting to international arbitration," Sudan's foreign ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

It was the first time Sudan's foreign ministry has called for talks on the small territories since Egypt transferred control of two islands in the Straits of Tiran to Saudi Arabia last Monday.

More than 1,000 Egyptians demonstrated in central Cairo on Friday, partly in protest at the decision to hand over the two islands to Saudi Arabia last week.

Read more: Egyptians hold mass protests against Saudi islands deal
In pictures: Egyptians protest against Saudi island deal 

Khartoum has regularly protested at Egypt's administration of Halayeb and Shalatin, which it has said have been part of its sovereign territory since shortly after its independence in 1956.

The foreign ministry said that as far back as 1958, Sudan had submitted a complaint to the United Nations Security Council claiming sovereignty over Halayeb, in a dispute which dates back to British colonial times.