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Egypt and Sudan struggle to settle on visa-free travel deal

Egypt and Sudan struggle to settle on visa-free travel deal

During a conference held in Cairo, the Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry said that there a series of obstacles facing the implementation of the Four Freedoms Agreement between Egypt and Sudan. "in any agreement with Sudan, we always ensure to take into account the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries," Shoukry, said. He also noted that "this requires exerting efforts and adopting new policies that support this cause."

The Egyptian minister, however, did want to get across that Egypt wants to "strengthen ties with Sudan."

The Egypt and Sudan Relationship

Back in 2004, Egypt and Sudan signed the Four Freedoms Agreements, created to allow citizens of both countries to move freely across the border that separates them. It granted citizens the rights to reside, work and own property in either country without the need for a permit. However, Egypt recently requested that adjustments be made to some of the clauses, including a restriction on the entry of Sudanese citizens to the country. In response to these desired changes, Sudanese officials said that Cairo s delaying the activation of the agreement.

The relationship between Sudan and Egypt has been tense. There are several controversial issues that have strained the ties, one of these being the Halayeb and Shalateen region Sudan claims is its sovereign territory.

For its part, Egypt has been working on bettering their relations with other nations and wishes to increase tourism. A result of this effort is the creation and implementation of the tourist electronic visa for Egypt. Launched in December 2017, the visa for Egypt is available for a list of eligible countries. Instead of applying through an embassy, visitors can obtain the visa by completing an online application.

Sudan, on the other hand, requests travelers to apply for a visa from one of the Sudanese diplomatic missions, unless they are from visa exempt countries. The six countries that can travel to Sudan without a visa are Egypt, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Qatar, and Syria.