KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir is to travel to Cairo on Tuesday, state media reported, marking the first visit to post-Mubarak Egypt by an Arab leader and one by the only head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court.
"President Omar Al-Bashir will begin an official visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt on Tuesday, where he will meet Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and senior Egyptian officials," SUNA said in a statement.
The Sudanese news agency said the visit confirmed Sudan’s "support for the Egyptian people at this historical juncture … and reflects the strong ties that bind the two countries."
Egypt, which is not a signatory to the ICC, has been a key ally for the Sudanese president, who has visited the country numerous times since he was indicted by the ICC for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur in March 2009. He has since been charged with genocide.
Despite his cordial relationship with former president Hosni Mubarak, Bashir was quick to congratulate the Egyptian people when they ousted their veteran leader last month after weeks of protests, hailing the "triumph" of their revolution.
Sudan, meanwhile, remains an important ally for Egypt in its efforts to block initiatives by upstream Nile countries that would allow them to implement irrigation and hydropower projects without first seeking Cairo’s consent.
Egypt and Sudan have argued their water supplies would be dangerously reduced if upstream countries are able to divert the river flow without multilateral consultation.
Burundi dealt a blow to those efforts on March 1, when it became the last of six Nile Basin countries to sign a deal that paves the way for the abrogation of Egypt’s veto rights over upstream projects.