Egypt’s Prime Minister to Visit Halayeb

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said Saturday that the city of Halayeb is an Egyptian city where many development projects are being executed, announcing a projected visit to the city exclusively to state-run agency MENA.

Located on Egypt’s southern borders, the Halayeb and Shalateen regions are inhabited by tribes with historic roots from Egypt and Sudan.

Sudan’s National Elections Commission announced on September 9 it would begin demarcating voting districts by mid-September, in preparation for the 2015 elections. Sudanese news website Sudan Tribune reported that the commission will include the contentious area of Halayeb among its voting districts.

Red Sea State’s Legislative Council Member Hamed Idris Soliman also called upon the Khartoum government to ensure residents of Halayeb can exercise their “constitutional right” to vote in the elections, Sudanese Media Center reported.

It is impossible to cede an “inch” of the Halayeb territory, which extends over an area of 20 thousand km inhabited by over 27 thousand people, Soliman added.

However, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty stated that the Halayeb and Shalateen border regions are an indivisible part of Egypt’s territories and their annexation to the brotherly state of Sudan is “not negotiable”.

Abdelatty added to Aswat Masriya over the phone that Egypt and Sudan are seeking the formation of a trade integration area on the borders separating both states. He said that such an area would encompass Halayeb and Shalateen.

Abdelatty described the media reports as “unofficial”, adding that they do not warrant an official response from Egypt.

Halayeb is considered Egypt’s southern gate to the Red Sea. Its prime role is to provide customs services to those crossing over to the Sudanese borders.

Source : Aswat Masriya