CAIRO (Reuters) – The head of Sudan’s ruling military council visited neighboring Egypt on Saturday – his first trip abroad since the army overthrew former president Omar al-Bashir last month after mass protests against his rule.
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is himself a former military chief who got the top job after leading the ouster of his country’s last leader, Mohamed Mursi.
The meeting was closely watched by Sudan’s opposition and protest groups who have warned Egypt not to interfere in their politics, but they did not make an immediate comment.
Sudan’s army set up a Transitional Military Council (TMC) to rule the country after Bashir’s ouster and promised to hand over after elections.
But Sudan’s protests groups, wary of what happened in Egypt, have sought guarantees that civilians will lead the transition process, and have called for two days of strikes next week to press their case.
Sisi and Burhan “agreed on the priority of supporting the free will of the Sudanese people and its choices,” Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said.
Sisi also said Egypt was ready to “provide all means of support to the brothers in Sudan to overcome this stage in line with the aspirations of the Sudanese people, away from external interventions,” according to the spokesman.
Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Andrew Heavens