El-Bashir: Halayeb will remain Sudanese

“Halayeb has always been–and will remain–Sudanese,” Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the disputed region that lies within Egypt’s southern border.

El-Bashir added that he planned to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss the matter, stressing that he sought to maintain “good relations” with Sudan’s neighbors.

“Our borders should not be a place for armed rebels,” the Sudanese president said.

According to Hani Raslan, director of the Sudan and Nile Basin desk at the semi-official Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, the Egyptian and Sudanese positions on Halayeb were well known. “This issue should soon be resolved in light of the good relations between both countries,” he said.

In a related development, former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadek el-Mahdi dismissed reports that Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party and the opposition Popular Congress Party had struck a deal to release Sudanese opposition leader Hassan el-Turabi.

“We support the release of all political forces that have been arbitrarily arrested,” he said. “Everyone is entitled to a fair trial.”

“El-Turabi was arrested without justification and later released without justification,” el-Mahdi added. “This proves the absence of the rule of law.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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