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Sudan’s al-Bashir meets Qatari state minister of defence

Al-Bashir receives Qatari Deputy Prime Minister Khalid bin Muhammad al-Attiyah on Saturday 23 Feb 2019 (Al-Jazeera Photo)

February 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Saturday has received the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Muhammad al-Attiyah.

According to the official news agency SUNA, the visiting official conveyed to al-Bashir wishes of Emir Tamim bin Hamad that Sudan enjoys “further stability and prosperity”.

It pointed out that the meeting between al-Bashir and al-Attiyah has discussed the joint defence cooperation between Sudan and Qatar.

During the meeting, the Qatari official stressed his country’s continued support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

The visit of the Qatari minister comes amid escalating turmoil and popular protests demanding the removal of al-Bashir’s regime.

On Friday, the Sudanese President declared a one-year state of emergency and dissolved the federal and states governments appointing 18 militaries as governors of the states.

Qatar was among the first countries that vowed to support al-Bashir and his regime to overcome what Emir Tamim has described as the “ordeal”.

Qatar has been one of the few countries where the government of President al-Bashir enjoys relatively warm relations with. For years the rich Arab Gulf state has hosted peace talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel groups which eventually resulted in the signing of the DDPD in 2011.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt severed ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting Islamist terrorist groups and arch-foe Iran. But Doha vehemently denies the charges.

Sudan is among the Arab states that refused to take part in the ongoing diplomatic crisis and declared its support for the Kuwaiti efforts to settle the rift.