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Sudan’s stance towards Saudi Arabia “principled and moral”: minister

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October 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf has described his country’s stance towards Saudi Arabia as “principled and moral” saying relation between the two countries is based on mutual respect, not extortion.

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Sudan’s defence minister Awad Ahmed Ibn Ouf (Photo SUNA)

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

Last May, President Omar al-Bashir underscored Sudan’s continued participation in the military coalition, three weeks after State Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim said his ministry was evaluating pros and cons of the participation in the Yemen war in order to decide on it soon.

Al-Bashir has been under pressure to withdraw his troops from Yemen because Gulf countries particularly Saudi Arabia do not provide financial support to the country to overcome its economic crisis.

On Thursday, Ibn Ouf attended the closing ceremony of a military exercise dubbed “Grandsons of Tihraqa 2” conducted by the Sudanese army in Jebal Shakout area, north of Khartoum.

Speaking at the ceremony, the defence minister renewed Sudan’s commitment to defend the Muslim nation, saying “our stance towards Saudi Arabia, the land of the Two Holy Mosques is principled and moral”.

In recent years, Sudan has developed close diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia.

In February 2016, Sudan followed Saudi Arabia’s lead and severed diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked amid a row over Riyadh execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric.

Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab investor in Sudan with more than 590 projects. In 2016, Saudi investments in Sudan increased to $15bn compared to $11bn in 2015.

(ST)

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