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Sudan’s Bashir extends his stay in the UAE for “recuperation”


December 1, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - President Omer al-Bashir has extended his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for one week in order to take some rest while his accompanying delegation returned to Khartoum Monday, said government official

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with UAE vice-president and prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Abu Dhabi on 22 February 2015 (WAM)

Bashir had arrived in the UAE last Saturday accompanied by several ministers and officials on an official visit. He held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan focusing on bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of common concern.

A Sudanese official, who spoke to Sudan Tribune on the condition of anonymity, stressed that Bashir has extended his stay in the UAE for several days to have some rest, saying his accompanying delegation returned to Khartoum following the end of the official talks.

He expected that Bashir would participate in the UAE’s National Day which falls on December 2nd.

It should be mentioned that Bashir’s accompanying delegation included the foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour, finance minister, Badr al-Din Mahmoud, minister of electricity and water resources, Muataz Musa, minister of the state at the presidency, Fadul Abdallah Fadul and the director of the office of the president, Taha al-Hussein besides several other officials.

Meanwhile, Bashir said that his country would witness a real renaissance in the entire domains if the ongoing national dialogue achieved satisfactory outcome, underscoring that his government is keen to allow the fundamental freedoms in order to lay strong basis for a genuine dialogue.

In a joint interview with the Dubai-based Sky News Arabia TV channel and Abu Dhabi TV, Bashir praised the stances of the UAE towards regional and Arab issues, offering congratulations for the UAE leadership, government and people on the occasion of the national day and the martyr day.

He explained the latest developments in Sudan including the national dialogue besides the evolving relations with the UAE, the conditions of the Arab world and the participation of his country in the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Sudan is the only non-Gulf state to send troops to fight in Yemen alongside Saudi Arabia and UAE against Houthi rebels there.

He pointed that Sudan continued to participate politically and militarily in the efforts to achieve peace in the Arab world since longtime, praising UAE’s role in the region and its renaissance which was founded by the late Shiekh Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sudan appears to have managed to achieve a breakthrough in ties with UAE after a long period of strained relations over Khartoum’s close ties with Tehran.

UAE is in a long-standing territorial dispute with Iran over the three Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb.

Iran refuses international arbitration over the dispute and insists that its sovereignty over the islands is non-negotiable.

Last year, Sudanese authorities ordered the closure of Iranian cultural centre in the capital Khartoum, and other states in a move which was seen as gesture to the Arab Gulf states.

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