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Sudan’s al-Bashir returns from Qatar without immediate pledge of financial support

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January 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday ended a two-day visit to Qatar, during which he briefed the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani about the challenges facing his government.

Al-Bashir who is facing nationwide protests that began on 19 December arrived in Doha Tuesday hoping to receive financial support for his government.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Qatari Emiri Diwan said the meeting discussed various developments in Sudan, and that the Emir was briefed on the latest developments and challenges facing Sudan.

"The Emir affirmed Qatar’s firm stance on Sudan’s unity and stability," said the statement without speaking about an immediate pledge of financial support to the visiting president.

Last year al-Bashir refused to follow Saudi Arabia and the Arab United Emirates and cut relations with Qatar. But, Doha was not satisfied with his position because he was seen as a close ally they always supported in difficult moments.

However, Qatar is competing with other countries in the region for influence in Sudan, which is strategically important for its presence on the Red Sea.

Doha last year reached an agreement worth four billion dollars for the joint development of the port of Swakin.

Qatar was among the first countries to express support for Sudan after the December 19 protests.

Tamim contacted Bashir last December, offering him "to do whatever is needed to help Sudan overcome this ordeal."

Sudanese Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed told a news conference at Khartoum airport after al-Bashir return from Doha that Qatar has confirmed its continued support to Sudan in its economic crisis.

He added that the president’s visit dealt with the current economic situation and Sudanese efforts to get the country out of the crisis and its causes.

He said that the visit came within the framework of ongoing consultation between the president and his brothers on the current political issues at the Arab, Islamic and African levels, and to inform the political leadership in Qatar about Sudan’s efforts in this regard.

The situation in Darfur was also discussed during the meeting as the Qatari government continue to mediate for peace in Darfur and support the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

"The President of the Republic valued the efforts of the State of Qatar to end the conflict in Darfur, without which the transition to building peace, stability and security in Darfur would not have taken place," Dirdeiry said.

(ST)

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