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Sudan’s defence minister invited to attend Gulf military drills in Saudi Arabia

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Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf greets Sudanese troops stationed in Saudi Arabia on 29 Nov 2017 (ST photo)

April 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf has received an invitation from Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to attend the closing ceremony of the joint military exercise “Gulf Shield-1”.

Sudan is among 23 countries taking part in the military drills that began on March 18, 2018.

Ibu Ouf on Sunday received the Saudi Ambassador to Khartoum Ali Hassan Ja’afar who handed him over a written letter from the Crown Prince inviting him to attend the closing ceremony of the military exercise on 16 April.

The two sides discussed the evolving relations between the two countries, particularly in the military field.

According to the official news agency SUNA, the Saudi envoy praised the great sacrifices of the Sudanese army within the Saudi-led military alliance in Yemen.

It is noteworthy that the military exercise coincides with the Arab League summit which will be held in Riyadh next week.

For years, Khartoum’s regime maintained close relations with Riyadh’s arch-rivals in Tehran.

However, in January 2016, Sudan severed ties with Iran after an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran amid a row over the execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric.

Sudanese troops are deployed in Yemen since October 2014 within a Saudi-led Arab coalition against the Shiite Houthi militants.

In February 2016, the Sudanese army participated in a regional military exercise including Saudi and Gulf armies, Egypt, Jordanian, Pakistani, and Sudanese armies.

(ST)

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