So far, 2018 has been a negative year for Egyptian-Sudanese relations. On Jan. 4, Sudan recalled its ambassador from Egypt. Without providing further details, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry stated that Ambassador Kamal al-Din Hassan Ali was recalled for consultations. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry is weighing how to “take appropriate action.” This diplomatic spat has unfolded in a complicated context in which numerous issues have fueled tensions in bilateral relations for years.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project has contributed to friction in Cairo-Khartoum relations. Egypt sees the project as a major threat to its water interests, while Sudan views it as a valuable opportunity. In November 2017, Cairo officially declared that technical negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia had failed. Then, at the beginning of January, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reportedly sent Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn a proposal to continue talks between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the megaproject, excluding Khartoum. Egypt denies that Sisi sent this proposal to Ethiopia’s leadership. Nonetheless, the Nile's water supply remains a source of much disagreement between Cairo and Khartoum.