US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States and Egypt have had a “common interest” in getting Sudan’s democratic transition back on track since the Sudanese military seized power in late October.
Blinken and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shouki opened the US-Egypt strategic dialogue on Monday.
“The military takeover that began on October 25 has been dangerously destabilizing,” Blinken said. “The restoration of a civilian-led transitional government is the only way to fulfill the aspirations of the Sudanese people, who have shown remarkable bravery in repeatedly coming forward to demand democracy,” he said.
Egypt, one of Sudan’s neighbors, is absent from a recent joint statement issued by the US, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, calling for a “complete and immediate restoration” of Sudan’s “civilian-led transitional government and institutions”. has been demanded.”
The statement also encourages the release of all those detained since the coup and the lifting of the state of emergency in Sudan.
A report in The Wall Street Journal said Sudan’s military chief, General Abdel-Fatah Burhan, sought support from Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi in a meeting a day before the military takeover, and that al-Sisi asked his partner reassured the general.
Shoukri did not address the military takeover of Sudan last month, nor did he answer questions from reporters during his inaugural address.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US would discuss “ongoing efforts to restore the civilian-led transitional government and stop violence in Sudan” with Egyptian officials.
“I’m going to allow the Egyptians to explain the specifics of their position, but of course that will be a matter of discussion with our Egyptian counterparts,” Price said during Monday’s press briefing.
The Sudanese military is facing international condemnation after it overthrew a transitional government in which it shared power with civilian leaders. The US withheld $700 million in funding immediately after the military takeover.
The US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue on Monday is the first bilateral talks between the two countries since 2015.
The State Department said the top diplomats of the two countries exchanged views on ways to enhance cooperation on international and regional issues, human rights and economic, security and cultural issues. Blinken also appreciated Egypt’s role in supporting regional stability, including reducing tensions in Gaza.
Following Blinken’s visit to Cairo in late May, the US said it planned to engage in “constructive” human rights talks with Egypt as rights groups and activists drew attention to the country’s human rights record.
On Monday, Shoukry said Egypt would “continue to chart our path toward a modern democratic state” but that “equal attention” needed to be devoted to “political rights and civil liberties and economic and social rights” because of “systematic change.” Egypt offered “the best chance to succeed.”
Egyptian officials had argued that the definition of human rights was more about improving the quality of life for the majority of people rather than political space or political tolerance.