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Saudi Arabia expresses surprise at remarks by Sudan FM

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June 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – A Saudi Arabian official this week expressed surprise at statements made by Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti relating to a military offer extended by Iran.

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Saudi Arabian Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Relations, Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Kabir attends the Friends of Yemen meeting in central London, Tuesday April 29, 2014 (AP)

"We in the kingdom were surprised by it. We did not expect this thing at all," the Saudi Undersecretary for multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prince Turki Bin Mohamed told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper.

In an interview with the same newspaper last week, Karti said that his government turned down several offers by Iran by which it would have installed Iranian air defence systems on the Red Sea coast.

He was quoted as saying that this military platform "was intended to be directed against Saudi Arabia".

But the Sudanese foreign ministry later said that Karti was misquoted and that he was speaking of this offer being extended after an Israeli airstrike on a military complex in Khartoum in October 2012 and not as a threat to Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said that Sudan rejected this option so as not to be misunderstood by some of the Gulf states.

Sudanese officials recently acknowledged tensions in relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states over relations with Iran.

But they insist that there is no special or hidden links with the Persian nation.

(ST)

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