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Khartoum regrets Libya’s decision to close Sudanese consulate in Kufra

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July 26, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government expressed regret over the decision of the eastern Libyan Government to close its consulate in Kufra, a south-eastern region of Libya near Egypt and Sudan, saying the move was based on "unfounded accusations".

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Libya’s internationally recognised prime minister Abdullah al-Thani (C) walks with Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir (L) upon his arrival at Khartoum international airport on 27 October 2014 (Photo: AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

On Wednesday the eastern government of Abdullah al-Thinni decided the closure of the Sudanese consulate in the south-western town of Kufra and ordered the Sudanese officials to leave the country within 72 hours.

The eastern Libya authorities which are aligned with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) explained that the decision comes in response to the activities carried out by the Sudanese consular staff, adding they "threaten the Libyan national security’’ without further clarification.

Sudan "regrets the statement made by the Libyan Interim Government headed by Abdulla al-Thinni to close the Sudanese consulate in Kufra on the basis of unfounded accusations that some of the consulate staff have exceeded their normal duties," said the Sudanese foreign ministry in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson pointed out that since its establishment in 2003, the Consulate has continued its functions in accordance with the Vienna Agreement on Consular Relations and in conformity with international rules and traditions in diplomatic and consular work.

"Despite the security conditions in the region, the consulate has contributed and still continues to strengthen social communication and trade across the border of the two countries, a matter mentioned by the leaders and dignitaries of the Kufra on several occasions," he further said.

"The Foreign Ministry has started contacts with the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya to further investigate the matter and to ascertain the extent to which the Libyan side fulfils all the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Vienna treaty and the relevant international conventions for diplomatic and consular missions," reads the statement.

The Sudanese consulate in Kufra consists of a consul and eleven employees.

The GNA which is chaired by Fayez Seraj is the result of a U.N.-mediated agreement to bring stability to the troubled north African nation. It has limited authority and has been rejected by eastern-based government aligned with the general Khalifa Haftar.

However, Haftar signed two days ago an agreement with Seraj to work together and the hold a general election next year.

Sudan accuses the Egyptian baked General of recruiting Darfur rebel groups to fight within his Libyan National Army and in return, they receive weapons and needed logistics to destabilise the security situation in the western Sudan region of Darfur.

(ST)

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