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Sudanese troops will remain in Yemen, al-Bashir

Saudi Arabia's King Salman Al Saud meets Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir in Tangier Morocco on 6 August 2017 (SPA Photo)
May 23, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Wednesday stated that the Sudanese troops would continue to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen despite the tough economic situation his country is experiencing.

Al-Bashir received Saudi Assistant Minister of Defence Mohammad Abdullah Alayeesh who briefed him about the military developments in the war waged by the Saudi-led alliance against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In a statement released after the meeting, the presidency said al-Bashir reassured the visiting Saudi official that the difficult economic situation would not dissuade Sudan from playing its role in restoring legitimacy in Yemen.

The Sudanese president further pointed to Sudan’s declared position to "defend the land of the Two Holy Mosques’’.

Earlier this month, 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.

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition 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.

STRATEGIC RELATIONS WITH SAUDI ARABIA

In a related development, the newly appointed Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed has described his country’s relations with Saudi Arabia as strategic.

During his meeting with the Saudi Ambassador to Khartoum Ali bin Hassan Jaafar on Tuesday, Ahmed said regional and international challenges could only be met through concerted efforts from both countries and peoples.

The meeting discussed ways to promote and strengthen bilateral relations to serve interests of the peoples of the two brotherly countries.

It is noteworthy that 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.

SUPPORTING VOLUNTARY RETURN VILLAGES

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has announced its support for the voluntary return of the displaced persons to their villages in Darfur.

Following his meeting with Jaafar on Tuesday, Darfur’s commissioner of voluntary return and resettlement Taj al-Din Ibrahim al-Tahir said Saudi Arabia vowed to provide water plants, clinics and livelihood projects for the returnees.

It is noteworthy that Qatar is the largest sponsor of peace and development efforts in Darfur. The tiny Gulf State hosted government and rebels negotiating teams besides the stakeholders for two years before reaching the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Also, Doha continues to fund large resettlement and development projects in the region.

(ST)