May 12, 2018 / 11:57 AM / 2 months ago

Egypt denounces Russia Today poll on disputed territory

CAIRO, May 12 (Reuters) - Egypt has protested to Moscow after a Russian state-affiliated broadcaster organised a survey over ownership of a disputed Red sea border triangle claimed by Sudan.

The protest came ahead of a meeting in Moscow between the foreign and defence ministers of Russia and Egypt on Monday.

The Halayeb triangle, which is controlled by Egypt, has been claimed by Sudan since 1958. Cairo says it is Egyptian territory and it has long been a source of contention between the two neighbours.

Relations between Egypt and Sudan have been further strained in recent months by Khartoum’s support for Ethiopia over a hydroelectric dam Addis Ababa is building which Egypt fears will restrict its water access.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday it had demanded an explanation from Moscow about the opinion poll, which was aired by state-controlled broadcaster Russia Today on its Arabic news channel on Friday.

“The Foreign Ministry contacted the Russian side on the morning of Saturday May 12th to express its strong condemnation of the opinion poll conducted by the Russian government-affiliated channel, and demanded an urgent explanation for this unacceptable conduct,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement.

He said that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had cancelled an interview he was planning to give Russia Today on Saturday ahead of Monday’s foreign and defence ministers meeting.

The Russia Today survey also included questions relating to Israeli air strikes on Syria and the Iran nuclear deal. (Reporting by Ali Abdelaty Writing by Arwa Gaballa; editing by Sami Aboudi and Ros Russell)

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