President Mubarak’s Surprise Visit to Sudan

Egypt’s President made an unannounced visit to Sudan today, the first time since 2003, meeting with President Bashir in Khartoum, and then making the first ever visit by an Egyptian President to Juba in the South.    It’s hard to exaggerate how important Sudan is to Egyptian security:  If Egypt is a house, Sudan is the foundation through which all of the essential electrical circuits (the Nile)  originate from.  Therefore, a lack of  order  in Sudan is a direct security threat to Egypt and for this reason Cairo is opposed to any ICC attempt to arrest President Bashir as this would jeopardize the 2005 Peace Treaty with the South, and may even make things worse in Darfur. 

On another note, the Egyptian government has been criticized by Egyptian columnists for abrogating its duty as a regional power and not being involved in Darfur.   “We’ve gotta act like the regional power we are and stop letting little Qatar get all the glory” goes the arguement (See this  post).    Today’s high-level by a delegation that included the President, the Foreign Minister and Omar Suleiman, head of the Mukhaberet, seems to be a pretty decisive response to that criticism.