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Sudan’s FM, Arab diplomats discuss Gulf crisis

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Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour (SUNA Photo)
June 16, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Foreign Minister Friday and diplomats in Khartoum from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt discussed the recent rift between their countries and the State of Qatar.

Sudan is among the Arab states that refused to take part in the ongoing diplomatic crisis and declared its support for the Kuwaiti efforts to settle the rift.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over alleged accusations that Doha was supporting terrorist groups who are threats to the region’s peace and security. Also, they say that Qatar is siding Iran. But, Doha rejects all these accusations.

According to Sudanese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Gharib Allah Khidir, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour met in his office on Friday afternoon with the ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum.

The ambassadors expressed "their appreciation for the Sudanese position and its role in promoting solidarity and unity and the protection of Arab national security," said Khidir in a statement released after the meeting.

He pointed out that Ghandour "renewed the Sudanese position and its keenness to achieve reconciliation between brothers through its support for the initiative of His Highness the Emir of the State of Kuwait."

"Sudan views the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) system as a model of solidarity and Arab unity," said Ghandour before to renew the confidence of President Omer al-Bashir in the wisdom and ability of the GCC leaders to overcome the current crisis in order to ensure the coherence of the System and safeguard the interests of its countries," Ghandour said.

The Arab diplomats thanked the minister for receiving them immediately upon his return on Friday morning from an official visit to the Norway.

Sudanese Islamists in the ruling National Congress Party, Popular Congress Party, Reform Now Movement, and the Just Peace Forum (JPF) called explicitly or implicitly to support Qatar.

However, Ghandour in a debate at the parliament on 7 June resisted these calls saying "We will not stand neutral and we will not take sides but we are at the heart of the issue". he further reassured the MPs that his government is actively working to ease the tensions and restore relations between the Gulf countries.

Ghandour also held a separate meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador to Khartoum Osama Shaltout to discuss bilateral relations.

Khidir said they discussed the outcome of the meetings of the political consultation committee, headed by the two foreign ministers last May. Further, he said that preparations are underway to hold the fourth session in Khartoum in mid-July.

(ST)

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